Background: Our ability to predict and prevent homicides committed by individuals with schizophrenia is limited. Cognitive impairments are associated with poorer functional outcome in schizophrenia, possibly also homicide. The aim of the current study was to investigate global and specific cognition among homicide offenders with schizophrenia (HOS).
Methods: Twenty-six HOS were compared to 28 individuals with schizophrenia and no history of violence (non-HOS), and a group of healthy controls (HC, n = 151). HOS and non-HOS participants were recruited from in- and outpatient units across Norway. An extensive neuropsychological test battery was administered.
Results: HOS participants performed significantly weaker than HC in all cognitive domains. Further, statistically significant differences between HOS and non-HOS participants were found for IQ (d = 0.52) and verbal learning (d = 0.82), with larger impairments in the HOS compared to the non-HOS group.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that HOS participants show clinically significant impairments in global and specific cognition.
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