Brief Impression Questionnaire Useful in Schizophrenia Diagnoses

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The Brief Impression Questionnaire was designed to assess social skills in individuals with schizophrenia.
The Brief Impression Questionnaire was designed to assess social skills in individuals with schizophrenia.

The Brief Impression Questionnaire (BIQ) is useful in measuring components of social cognition and functioning in schizophrenia diagnoses according to a study published in Psychiatry Research.

The researchers included participants from the Social Cognition Pyschometric Evaluation (SCOPE) study with the addition of BIQ to the protocol. With BIQ, research assistants measured their impressions of an individual's likability, easygoingness, friendliness, and strangeness as well as how much they looked forward to retesting the participant and if they would want to socialize with the participant. This multi-center study included a control cohort (n=154) and a schizophrenia cohort (n=218). Participants were mostly men (64%) and had an average age of 41.8 years (range 19-64). The 22 research assistants in the study were mostly women (77%) with an average age of 25.83 (SD=3.98).

The researchers investigated whether there was a relationship between the Social Skills Performance Assessment (SSPA) and BIQ scores (control vs schizophrenia cohort) and between the UCSD Performance-based Skills Assessment (UPSA-B) and BIQ score (schizophrenia cohort). Multiple linear regressions showed in the control vs schizophrenia cohort, while a better SSPA performance was associated with higher BIQ scores. Within the schizophrenia cohort, the results showed the average UPSA-B performance had a variance of 7.2% (P <.001), that those with less severe symptoms performed better (P <.01), and that there was no association between higher BIQ scores and better performance (P =.4).

The single level model analysis explained a 64.9% variance in the control cohort compared with the schizophrenic cohort (59.8% variance). Likability, easygoingness, and willingness to retest items had the strongest loadings (0.8 or above) in both cohorts, with friendliness also strong in the control cohort. The control cohort was rated slightly higher on all items. Bivariate correlations between composite BIQ score, social functioning, and social cognition showed the control cohort BIQ score had a positive correlation with better social functioning. It also showed an association between higher BIQ composite scores and better emotion recognition task performance in the schizophrenia cohort. 

There were several limitations identified in this study: first, the concern for “nesting of BIQ ratings due to research assistant to participant ratio”; second, researcher bias due to lack of blind study option; third, all research assistants did not rate each participant; fourth, demographic discrepancies between the research assistants and the participants might be of concern; fifth, “a correction for multiple comparisons was not implemented”; and sixth, the results were not statistically significant.

The study researchers suggest the utility of the BIQ in measuring aspects of social cognition and social functioning in schizophrenia diagnoses.

The authors disclosed the following conflicts of interest: first, Dr. Harvey served as a consultant to Akili, Allergen, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Lundbeck, Minerva Pharma, Otsuka America, Sanofi, Sunovion, and Takeda; and second, Dr. Jarskog received funding from Auspex/Teva and Boehringer-Ingelheim.

Reference

Lanser I, Browne J, Pinkham AE, Harvey PD, Jarskog LF, Penn DL. Evaluating social skill in individuals with schizophrenia with the brief impression questionnaire (BIQ)[published online August 15, 2018]. Psychiat Res. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.08.047

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