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Compr Psychiatry. 2016 Aug;69:20-9. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2016.04.015. Epub 2016 Apr 30.

Grasping the mechanisms of narratives' incoherence in schizophrenia: an analysis of the temporal structure of patients' life story.

Author information

1
INSERM U-1114, 1 place de l'Hôpital, Clinique Psychiatrique, Strasbourg Cedex, France; Université de Strasbourg, Faculté de Médecine, 4 rue Kirchleger, Strasbourg, France; FMTS: Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg, France.
2
Université de Lille, UMR CNRS 9193 SCALab, Lille, France.
3
Department of Psychology, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland.
4
INSERM U-1114, 1 place de l'Hôpital, Clinique Psychiatrique, Strasbourg Cedex, France; Université de Strasbourg, Faculté de Médecine, 4 rue Kirchleger, Strasbourg, France; FMTS: Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg, France; Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, 1 place de l'Hôpital, Strasbourg Cedex, France.
5
INSERM U-1114, 1 place de l'Hôpital, Clinique Psychiatrique, Strasbourg Cedex, France; Université de Strasbourg, Faculté de Médecine, 4 rue Kirchleger, Strasbourg, France; FMTS: Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg, France; Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, 1 place de l'Hôpital, Strasbourg Cedex, France. Electronic address: fabrice.berna@chru-strasbourg.fr.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Life narratives of patients with schizophrenia are characterized by impaired coherence so that the listener has often difficulties to grasp the life trajectory of the patients. In order to better understand what causes this reduced temporal coherence, we investigated the temporal structure of patients' life narratives through different temporal narrative elements (elaboration of beginnings and endings, local temporal indicators and temporal deviations from a linear order), across two complementary studies.

METHODS:

Life narratives were collected by means of two different methods; a free recall in study 1 and a more structured protocol, aiming at reducing the cognitive task demands in study 2. All narratives from the two studies were analyzed using the same validated method.

RESULTS:

Both studies showed that global temporal coherence is significantly reduced in patients with schizophrenia (ps.02). This is mainly due to their stronger tendency to temporally deviate from a linear temporal order without marking the deviation as such. We also observed significant correlations in the patient groups between global temporal coherence and executive dysfunction (p=.008) or their higher tendency to temporally deviate from a linear temporal order in their life narratives (p<.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

These results shed light on narrative correlates of temporal narrative incoherence in schizophrenia and highlight the central role of executive dysfunction in this incoherence.

PMID:
27423341
DOI:
10.1016/j.comppsych.2016.04.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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