General cognition

What is IQ?

Overall cognitive functioning may be disrupted in people with PTSD. Intelligence quotient (IQ) is derived from standardised tests used to measure general cognitive functioning. IQ is most commonly measured using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). The WAIS is designed to measure all aspects of cognitive functioning and is divided into subtests measuring verbal IQ (verbal comprehension and working memory) and non-verbal IQ (perceptual organisation and processing speed). Other tests used to assess IQ include the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), which assesses cognitive impairment; the National Adult Reading Test (NART), which assesses premorbid intelligence; the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT), which assesses both verbal and mathematic ability; and the Raven’s Progressive Matrices, which assesses general intelligence.

What is the evidence for IQ in people with PTSD?

High quality evidence finds a medium-sized effect of poorer general intelligence in people with PTSD than people without PTSD. Moderate quality evidence finds a large effect of poorer general intelligence in traumatised children with PTSD compared to non-traumatised children, and a small effect when compared to traumatised children without PTSD.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 1:51 am, 29th August 2021
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