Navigation Links
Difficulty assessing effort drives motivation deficits in schizophrenia, study finds
Date:8/21/2014

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 21, 2014 Individuals with schizophrenia often have trouble engaging in daily tasks or setting goals for themselves, and a new study from San Francisco State University suggests the reason might be their difficulty in assessing the amount of effort required to complete tasks.

The research, detailed in an article published this week in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, can assist health professionals in countering motivation deficits among patients with schizophrenia and help those patients function normally by breaking up larger, complex tasks into smaller, easier-to-grasp ones.

"This is one of the first studies to carefully and systematically look at the daily activities of people with schizophrenia -- what those people are doing, what goals are they setting for themselves," said David Gard, an associate professor of psychology at SF State who has spent years researching motivation and emotion. "We knew that people with schizophrenia were not engaging in a lot of goal-directed behavior. We just didn't know why."

In 2011, Gard received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the reasons behind this difficulty in goal setting. An earlier article detailing other research from this study, published in May in the journal Schizophrenia Research, showed that when people with schizophrenia do set goals for themselves, they set them for the same reasons as persons without: to connect with others. But motivation deficits are still common among these individuals, and his latest study set out to pinpoint the reason.

Through a series of cognitive assessments and random phone calls, Gard and his colleagues at SF State and the University of California, San Francisco collected data from 47 people with and 41 people without schizophrenia. Participants were called four times a day, randomly throughout the day, for a week and asked about their current mood, as well as what they were doing; how much enjoyment they were getting out of it; and what their goals for the rest of the day were. The results were coded by variables such as how much pleasure they were getting out of their daily activities and how much effort was involved, then compared that with the results from the cognitive assessments.

Gard and his fellow researchers found that, while people with schizophrenia engage in low-impact, pleasurable goals -- such as watching TV or eating food for enjoyment -- as much as others, they have greater difficulty with more complex undertakings or goals requiring more effort.

"There's something breaking down in the process around assessing high-effort, high-reward goals," Gard said. "When the reward is high and the effort is high, that's when people with schizophrenia struggle to hold in mind and go after the thing that they want for themselves."

The findings indicate that health-care providers who want to help individuals with schizophrenia set goals for themselves should break larger tasks into smaller, simpler ones with small rewards. For example, instead of guiding a patient specifically toward the larger goal of getting in physical shape, a provider could instead encourage them to gradually walk a little bit more every day.

"That's something we would do for everyone else, but it might have been avoided in patients with schizophrenia because we thought they weren't experiencing as much pleasure from their activities as they actually are," Gard added. "We can help them to identify things that are pleasurable and reward them toward larger goals."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jonathan Morales
jmm1@sfsu.edu
415-338-1743
San Francisco State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. The Value of Personal Health Records and Difficulty Patients Experience Collecting Them
2. Autistic children can outgrow difficulty understanding visual cues and sounds
3. Difficulty in recognizing faces in autism linked to performance in a group of neurons
4. Study finds people have difficulty controlling multiple chronic conditions
5. Food elimination diet identifies causes of difficulty swallowing and swelling of the throat
6. New study looks at biomarkers in assessing pitch counts bearing on injury
7. EORTC head & neck cancer trial shows assessing HRQOL is valuable to both patients and their doctors
8. Assessing performance of colonoscopy procedures improves quality
9. Career Step and MRA to Present on Assessing Coder Readiness at MaHIMA ICD-10 Summit
10. Method for assessing hand bone density may prevent hip fractures
11. Teleconcussion--A new, innovative strategy for assessing young athletes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... Little Rock, AR (PRWEB) , ... October 13, ... ... owned firm with locations throughout Arkansas that offers insurance and financial preparation services, ... to benefit the Rock City Rescue organization. , Rock City Rescue is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The International Association ... standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of ... 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes ... of the facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple ... Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run ... This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed ... geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: ... souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is ... Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and ... use of wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring ... Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health ... an affordable analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, ... ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium ... Master File solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master ... , NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has ... clinical programs and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading ... eTMF platform to increase transparency to enable greater ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... Md. , Sept. 22, 2017  As the ... Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and ... Information notes that the medical device industry is in ... medical device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on medical ... But they also want covered patients, increased visits and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: