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Insight in schizophrenia and its association with executive functions

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Author(s): Choudhury Sonali | Khess C.R.J | Bhattacharyya Ranjan | Sanyal Debasish

Journal: Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
ISSN 0253-7176

Volume: 31;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 71;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Executive functions | insight | psychopathology | schizophrenia

ABSTRACT
Background: Lack of insight or awareness of illness is most frequently observed in patients with schizophrenia, and it influences treatment compliance. It has been hypothesized that the frontal dysfunction may explain poor insight in schizophrenia. Aim: The purposes of the study were to assess the degree of insight in schizophrenia and to examine the association, if any, between the degree of insight and executive functions in patients with schizophrenia. Materials and Methods: In this pre-post study, 30 patients of both sexes diagnosed to have schizophrenia were assessed with the Scale to Assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). They were assessed once at the time of admission and then at the time of their discharge. Results: The study revealed that 70% of the subjects possessed poor awareness of mental disorder. There was significant improvement of insight over time. The degree of insight was significantly associated with the performance on WCST 2 nd assessment. WCST scores were able to explain 42% of the variance in insight. Conclusion: Majority of schizophrenic patients possess poor insight. This poor insight is significantly associated with poor executive function. Hence poor insight may have a cognitive etiology.
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