Open Access Research article

The Self-Assessment Scale of Cognitive Complaints in Schizophrenia: A validation study in Tunisian population

Ines Johnson*, Oussama Kebir, Olfa Ben Azouz, Lamia Dellagi, Yasmine Rabah and Karim Tabbane

Author Affiliations

Research Unit "Cognitive dysfunctions in psychiatric diseases", Department of psychiatry "B", Razi Hospital. 24, rue des orangers. La Manouba, Tunisia

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BMC Psychiatry 2009, 9:66  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-9-66

Published: 8 October 2009



Despite a huge well-documented literature on cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, little is known about the own perception of patients regarding their cognitive functioning. The purpose of our study was to create a scale to collect subjective cognitive complaints of patients suffering from schizophrenia with Tunisian Arabic dialect as mother tongue and to proceed to a validation study of this scale.


The authors constructed the Self-Assessment Scale of Cognitive Complaints in Schizophrenia (SASCCS) based on a questionnaire covering five cognitive domains which are the most frequently reported in the literature to be impaired in schizophrenia. The scale consisted of 21 likert-type questions dealing with memory, attention, executive functions, language and praxia. In a second time, the authors proceeded to the study of psychometric qualities of the scale among 105 patients suffering from schizophrenia spectrum disorders (based on DSM- IV criteria). Patients were evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Global Assessment Functioning Scale (GAF scale) and the Calgary Depression Scale (CDS).


The scale's reliability was proven to be good through Cronbach alpha coefficient equal to 0.85 and showing its good internal consistency. The intra-class correlation coefficient at 11 weeks was equal to 0.77 suggesting a good stability over time. Principal component analysis with Oblimin rotation was performed and yielded to six factors accounting for 58.28% of the total variance of the scale.


Given the good psychometric properties that have been revealed in this study, the SASCCS seems to be reliable to measure schizophrenic patients' perception of their own cognitive impairment. This kind of evaluation can't substitute for objective measures of cognitive performances in schizophrenia. The purpose of such an evaluation is to permit to the patient to express his own well-being and satisfaction of quality of life.