Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This study investigated separate and concurrent performance on cognitive and hand dexterity tasks and the relationship to daily functioning in 16 people with schizophrenia and 16 healthy control participants.

METHOD. Participants performed the Purdue Pegboard Test and the Serial Seven Subtraction Test under single- and dual-task conditions and completed two daily functioning evaluations.

RESULTS. The hand dexterity of all participants declined in the dual-task condition, but the discrepancy between single-task and dual-task hand dexterity was greater in the schizophrenia group than in the control group (p < .03, d > .70, for all). The extent of discrepancy in hand dexterity was negatively correlated with daily functioning in the schizophrenia group (rs = −.3 to −.5, ps = .04–.26).

CONCLUSION. Ability to perform dual tasks may be an indicator of daily functioning in people with schizophrenia. Use of dual-task training may be considered as a therapeutic activity with these clients.

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