Relationship of awareness of illness to symptoms in schizophrenia
A lack of awareness of one's illness is a common feature of schizophrenia. Poor awareness of illness, or lack of insight, in schizophrenia has been associated with medication noncompliance and poor outcome. The purpose of the present study was to investigate which symptoms of schizophrenia are associated with awareness of illness, by investigating the relationship of awareness of illness in schizophrenia to positive symptoms, deficit symptoms, and depressive symptoms. Subjects were recruited from an inpatient schizophrenia unit and a day program for people with schizophrenia. For the overall sample of 80 patients, symptoms and awareness of illness were rated using structured clinical interviews. For data analysis, the overall sample was divided into two samples by diagnosis (schizophrenia vs. schizoaffective disorder). This yielded sample sizes that were below the size power analysis had suggested necessary for multiple regression analyses. Results indicated that positive symptoms were highly significantly correlated with current misattributions for symptoms in the schizophrenia sample only, such that more positive symptoms were associated with more correct attributions for symptoms. Depressive symptoms were correlated with current unawareness of mental disorder in the schizophrenia sample only, such that more depressive symptoms were associated with more awareness of mental disorder. Deficit symptoms were not significantly correlated with any of the measures of awareness of illness. Symptoms were not significantly correlated with awareness of illness in the schizoaffective sample. Using multiple regression analysis, symptoms highly significantly predicted current misattributions for symptoms in the schizophrenia sample, with positive symptoms contributing highly significantly contributing to this prediction. Again, positive symptoms were associated with more correct attributions for symptoms. Symptoms also significantly predicted current unawareness of mental disorder in the schizophrenia sample.
Taubner, Catherine Walsh, "Relationship of awareness of illness to symptoms in schizophrenia" (1999). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9917502.