Objective

The Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) is a cognitive assessment tool used to measure the broad aspects of cognition that are most frequently impaired in patients with schizophrenia. This study aims to develop the normative data of the Chinese version of the BACS among the Mandarin-speaking population.

Method

This cross-sectional study included 382 healthy participants (age range: 19–79 years; mean age: 48.0 ± 16.7 years, 47.6% men) in Taiwan, who were evaluated with the BACS. Means and standard deviations of subtests and composite scores were arranged by age group and gender. The Z-scores calculated based on the U.S. norms were compared to our scores based on the norms established in this study.

Results

The raw scores of all the BACS tests (verbal memory, digit sequencing, token motor test, verbal fluency, symbol coding, and Tower of London) were negatively correlated with participants’ age. Women were superior to men in verbal memory, but inferior to them in executive function. Furthermore, applying the U.S. norms of the BACS to determine the performance of the Chinese BACS results in bias with regard to verbal memory, token motor test, verbal fluency, symbol coding, Tower of London and composite score.

Conclusions

These findings demonstrate that directly applying western cognitive norms to a Mandarin-speaking population can cause biased interpretations. The results of this study can be an important reference for clinical settings and research related to cognitive assessments in Mandarin-speaking Chinese populations.

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