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Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Jul;191:5-13.

Theory of mind in schizophrenia: meta-analysis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Medical Centre, Heidelberglaan 100, HPA01.468, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands. m.sprong-2@umcutrecht.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mentalising impairment (an impaired ability to think about people in terms of their mental states) has frequently been associated with schizophrenia.

AIMS:

To assess the magnitude of the deficit and analyse associated factors.

METHOD:

Twenty-nine studies of mentalising in schizophrenia (combined n=1518), published between January 1993 and May 2006, were included to estimate overall effect size. Study descriptors predicted to influence effect size were analysed using weighted regression-analysis techniques. Separate analyses were performed for symptom subgroups and task types.

RESULTS:

The estimated overall effect size was large and statistically significant (d=-1.255, P<0.0001) and was not significantly affected by sample characteristics. All symptom subgroups showed significant mentalising impairment, but participants with symptoms of disorganisation were significantly more impaired than the other subgroups (P<0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

This meta-analysis showed significant and stable mentalising impairment in schizophrenia. The finding that patients in remission are also impaired favours the notion that mentalising impairment represents a possible trait marker of schizophrenia.

PMID:
17602119
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.107.035899
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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