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Distress intolerance and clinical functioning in persons with schizophrenia.

Authors
  • Nugent, Katie L1
  • Chiappelli, Joshua2
  • Rowland, Laura M2
  • Daughters, Stacey B3
  • Hong, L Elliot2
  • 1 Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, P.O. Box 21247, Baltimore, MD 21228, USA. Electronic address: [email protected]
  • 2 Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, P.O. Box 21247, Baltimore, MD 21228, USA.
  • 3 Department of Psychology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychiatry research
Publication Date
Dec 15, 2014
Volume
220
Issue
1-2
Pages
31–36
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.07.026
PMID: 25107316
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Impaired tolerance to distress may help explain part of the cognitive and functional impairments in schizophrenia (SZ). This project investigated distress intolerance in SZ patients as compared to controls, and whether distress intolerance represented an independent domain in relationship to symptoms, cognition, and functional capacity. Healthy controls (n=43) and SZ (n=65) completed a psychological distress challenge experiment and their levels of intolerance to distress were estimated. SZ showed increased distress intolerance such that they were significantly more likely to terminate the distress challenge session early compared to controls. Greater distress intolerance was associated with reduced functional capacity and worse cognitive performance in SZ. Mediation analyses suggested that distress intolerance had an independent effect on functional capacity, while some of this effect was mediated by cognitive performance. Our results suggest that distress intolerance is a promising domain for treatment research, and functional capacity may be improved by targeting treatments towards SZ patient׳s ability to tolerate distress.

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