To explore whether cognitive impairment and global functioning can predict the degree of insight into illness as well as whether insight is mediated by specific symptom dimensions of psychopathology in schizophrenia. A dimensional/cross sectional approach was used. A mixed group of clients (n = 36) were assessed as part of a routine clinical evaluation. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) was used as a measure of intellectual performance, the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) was used as a measure of general psychopathology while the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale assessed clients’ psychosocial functioning; insight was assessed with the Insight and Treatment Attitudes Questionnaire (ITAQ). The correlation matrix of all outcome variables was examined; confounding effects of illness duration were tested by partial correlation analyses. GAF correlated with insight (ρ = 0.41, P = 0.01) and the interpersonal sensitivity dimension of BSI (ρ = −0.38, P = 0.03. Insight correlated positively with the anxiety (ρ = 0.38, P = 0.03) and psychoticism (ρ = 0.36, P = 0.04) dimensions of BSI. Our results suggest that insight is part of the phenomenology in schizophrenia, not being determined by neurocognitive disturbances. Improved insight was associated with more frequent psychotic symptoms endorsement, higher levels of anxiety and less severe psychopathological symptoms and difficulties in psychosocial functioning; clients with more pronounced difficulties in their personal and social interactions exhibited worse psychosocial functioning and more severe psychopathological symptoms.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 13, 2009
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