Visual imagery imitation skills and cognitive functions in patients with Schizophrenia

Hong Kong J Occup Ther. 2022 Jun;35(1):105-112. doi: 10.1177/15691861221102777. Epub 2022 May 28.


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Visual demonstration by occupational therapists is very common in psychiatric treatment, however, some patients with schizophrenia could not imitate the actions despite the absence of any physical impairments. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify how cognitive functions such as attention and cognitive processes in the imitation process is necessary and how these processes were related to the ability to convert this into action (imitation) in patients with schizophrenia.

METHOD: The participants were patients with schizophrenia with mean age 59.2 (± 11.3) years, 23 were men and 10 were women. The participants were tested for imitation ability and cognitive function, working memory, and motor imagery.

RESULTS: Three subjects achieved full scores in the visual imitation test. However, the median of the total score was 10.0, with many subjects failing to imitate multiple tasks. Imitation learning is associated with duration of illness(t = -4.09, p = .000), mental health(t = -2.30, p = .029), and cognitive function such as the ability to retain visual information(t = -2.97, p = .006), and that these factors are interrelated.

CONCLUSION: To effectively promote imitation learning in patients with schizophrenia, occupational therapists need to establish teaching methods that make it easier for learners to retain visual information from the early stages of their illness.

PMID:35847190 | PMC:PMC9279874 | DOI:10.1177/15691861221102777

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