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Schizophr Res. 2007 Jan;89(1-3):123-8. Epub 2006 Nov 9.

The association of insight with psychotic symptoms, depression, and cognition in early psychosis: a 3-year follow-up.

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Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada.


Recent research has begun to examine the level of insight following a first episode of psychosis since this may have implications for outcome. Insight was investigated in 278 individuals consecutively admitted to a comprehensive early psychosis treatment program. Insight, symptoms and cognition were assessed on admission and after one, two and three years. Sixty percent had good insight at baseline and this improved significantly to 80% at one year. Insight remained good at years 2 and 3 with 78.6% and 82.8%, respectively, having good insight. A comparison of those with good to those with poor insight revealed that at each assessment point those with poor insight had significantly higher ratings on positive, negative and general psychopathology symptoms (all at p<0.001). Additionally those with good insight had significantly higher levels of depression at baseline (p=0.001). With respect to cognition when using a composite cognitive factor there was a significant advantage for the good insight group at one year (p=0.01). Overall results show that a significant proportion of individuals have good insight following a first episode of psychosis. For this group depression may be a significant concern at least upon initial presentation. Those with poor insight have increased symptoms throughout the first three years and possibly poorer cognitive functioning.

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