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Schizophr Res. 1997 Oct 17;27(1):37-44.

Insight, neurocognitive function and symptom clusters in chronic schizophrenia.

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  • 1Schizophrenia Division, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto, Canada.


Only recently has there been interest in the systematic study of insight in schizophrenia. The present investigation was designed to evaluate the specific relationship between psychopathological symptoms, neurocognitive deficits and awareness of illness in chronic schizophrenia. Fifty-eight outpatients with the DSM-III-R diagnosis of schizophrenia were rated on David's Schedule for Assessing Insight, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Calgary Depression Scale and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Results indicate that there is a significant association among these variables and that approximately 44% of the variance in the dependent variable could be explained by this combination of independent variables. Notably, however, negative symptoms were only moderately inversely correlated with awareness of illness, and they were not associated with scores on the WCST. Moreover, neither negative symptoms nor per cent perseverative errors contributed significantly to the prediction of insight in schizophrenia. These findings argue against the notion that unawareness of illness is the product of neuropsychological dysfunction in the frontal lobes. Instead, the most significant associations and predictors of insight were related to the positive symptoms of schizophrenia.

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