Clinical and cognitive correlates of insight in first-episode schizophrenia

Sherry K.W. CHAN, Ka Shing Kevin CHAN, May M.L. LAM, Cindy P.Y. CHIU, Christy L.M. HUI, Gloria H.Y. WONG, W.C. CHANG, Eric Y.H. CHEN

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This study aims to explore the relationship between clinical symptoms and cognitive functions with different insight dimensions in patients with first-episode schizophrenia. Seventy-nine patients were assessed following six months of treatment. Insight was assessed using the abridged version of Scale of Unawareness of Mental Disorder (SUMD). Symptoms were assessed using Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Cognitive functions were assessed using the Modified Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (MWCST), semantic verbal fluency and the letter-number sequencing (LNS) test from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). Positive, negative and disorganized symptoms were found to be correlated with overall insight and all three general insight dimensions. Only perseverative errors and categories completed of MWCST were correlated with overall insight. Perseverative errors and non-perseverative errors of MWCST were correlated with the awareness of medication effects; perseverative errors of MWCST were also correlated with the awareness of social consequence of the illness. These support the link between poor insight and impaired executive function particularly measured by MWCST. The specific correlation of cognitive functions and different dimensions of insight suggests different underlying mechanism within each dimension of insight. The combined model of symptomatology and cognitive function explained 20.6% to 36.4% of the variance in the lack of insight within the different dimensions. The modest combined relationship of clinical and cognitive function with insight suggests that the exploration of other models in relationship to different insight dimensions is important. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-45
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


Chan, S. K. W., Chan, K. K. S., Lam, M. M. L., Chiu, C. P. Y., Hui, C. L. M., Wong, G. H. Y., . . . Chen, E. Y. H. (2012). Clinical and cognitive correlates of insight in first-episode schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 135(1-3), 40-45. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.12.013


  • Insight
  • First-episode schizophrenia
  • Cognitive function
  • Symptomatology


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