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Schizophr Res. 1999 Feb 15;35(3):247-53.

Correlates of insight and insight change in schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, UK.


Various theories have been proposed to account for poor insight in schizophrenia. This study examined the relationships between insight, mood, schizophrenic symptoms and cognitive functioning. The relationship between longitudinal changes in insight and changes in symptoms and mood was also investigated. One-hundred patients with DSM-III-R schizophrenia, recently recovered from a relapse of their illness, were rated on the Insight and Treatment Attitudes Questionnaire (ITAQ), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test and tests of current and premorbid IQ. A random sample of 53 were then given an educational package (video and booklets) designed to improve their insight. Follow-up ratings on the ITAQ, PANSS and MADRS were subsequently obtained. At baseline, better insight was significantly correlated with lower mood and fewer positive symptoms. It was not related to cognitive functioning. Improvement in insight at follow up was related to worsening of mood, but not to change in positive symptoms. The results are consistent with the concept that poor insight, at least in part, results from the psychotic disease process itself. In addition, they suggest that poor insight may protect against depression in the early stages of recovery from schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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