Examination of the validity of the Brief Neurocognitive Assessment (BNA) for schizophrenia

Gagan Fervaha, Christina Hill, Ofer Agid, Hiroyoshi Takeuchi, George Foussias, Ishraq Siddiqui, Robert S. Kern, Gary Remington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Although many comprehensive batteries exist to evaluate the nature and degree of cognitive impairments in patients with schizophrenia, short batteries hold promise for rapidly screening and estimating deficits in global cognition. Recently, the Brief Neurocognitive Assessment (BNA) was established and has been shown to have similar validity and utility to a more comprehensive battery of cognitive tests in evaluating global cognitive impairments in patients with schizophrenia. The present study sought to further establish the validity of the BNA by comparing it with the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). METHODS: One-hundred seventy-six patients with schizophrenia and 300 healthy volunteers participated in the present study. Global cognition was evaluated using the MCCB composite score and estimated using the BNA. To examine practice effects and test-retest reliability, patients were re-assessed after 4weeks. RESULTS: The BNA was highly correlated with global cognition as evaluated by the MCCB in both the schizophrenia (r=0.82) and healthy control samples (r=0.75). Both instruments were similarly sensitive to deficits in global cognition in patients with schizophrenia relative to healthy controls. The BNA also demonstrated high test-retest reliability in patients with schizophrenia (r=0.87), comparable to the level observed with the MCCB (r=0.91). In addition, both the BNA and MCCB showed a similar level of practice effects (both Cohen's d=0.11), and both instruments demonstrated equivalent sensitivities to longitudinal change. Furthermore, scores from the BNA and MCCB were related to symptom severity and functional capacity to a similar degree. CONCLUSIONS: The BNA provides clinicians and researchers with an efficient and reliable means by which to evaluate global neurocognitive impairments in patients with schizophrenia by allowing estimation of performance on a more comprehensive standardized battery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-309
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov 18
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional competence
  • Generalized cognitive impairment
  • Neuropsychological testing
  • Processing speed
  • Psychosis
  • Reliable change index
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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