Facial Emotion Perception in Schizophrenia: A Meta-analytic Review

Schizophrenia Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Schizophrenia Bulletin (Impact Factor: 8.45). 04/2009; 36(5):1009-19. DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbn192
Source: PubMed


A considerable body of literature has reported on emotion perception deficits and the relevance to clinical symptoms and social functioning in schizophrenia. Studies published between 1970-2007 were examined regarding emotion perception abilities between patient and control groups and potential methodological, demographic, and clinical moderators. DATA SOURCES AND REVIEW: Eighty-six studies were identified through a computerized literature search of the MEDLINE, PsychINFO, and PubMed databases. A quality of reporting of meta-analysis standard was followed in the extraction of relevant studies and data. Data on emotion perception, methodology, demographic and clinical characteristics, and antipsychotic medication status were compiled and analyzed using Comprehensive Meta-analysis Version 2.0 (Borenstein M, Hedges L, Higgins J and Rothstein H. Comprehensive Meta-analysis. 2. Englewood, NJ: Biostat; 2005).
The meta-analysis revealed a large deficit in emotion perception in schizophrenia, irrespective of task type, and several factors that moderated the observed impairment. Illness-related factors included current hospitalization and--in part--clinical symptoms and antipsychotic treatment. Demographic factors included patient age and gender in controls but not race.
Emotion perception impairment in schizophrenia represents a robust finding in schizophrenia that appears to be moderated by certain clinical and demographic factors. Future directions for research on emotion perception are discussed.

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