Social cognition: the key factor predicting social outcome in people with schizophrenia?

Dr. Harvey is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.
Psychiatry 02/2010; 7(2):41-4.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Impairments in different cognitive abilities have been found to be correlated with reduced real-world functioning in people with schizophrenia. A number of other features of the illness, such as depression and negative symptoms, contribute to the overall prediction of these outcomes. Impairment in social cognition is of particular interest as a mediating influence between cognition and social outcomes. Social cognition is a set of cognitive processes applied to the recognition, understanding, accurate processing, and effective use of social cues in real-world situations. In schizophrenia research, social cognition comprises the following domains: emotion perception, theory of mind (ToM), and attributional style. While substantial research has indicated that these abilities are clearly related to social outcomes, research has been slowed by problems in the measurement of these abilities. In this article, I will describe these abilities, discuss how they are currently measured, and how research could improve the current measurement of these abilities to make them more clinically useful.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia Research: Cognition will serve an important function – a place where interests converge and investigators can learn about the recent developments in this area. This new journal will provide rapid dissemination of information to people who will make good use of it. In this initial article, we comment globally on the study of cognition in schizophrenia: how we got here, where we are, and where we are going. The goal of this first article is to place the study of cognition in schizophrenia within a historical and scientific context. In a field as richly textured as ours it is impossible to hit all the important areas, and we hope the reader will forgive our omissions. Phrased in cognitive terms, our limited presentation of the past is a matter of selective memory, the present is a matter of selective attention, and the future is a matter of selective prospection. This broad introduction emphasizes that cognition in schizophrenia provides clues to pathophysiology, treatment, and outcome. In fact, the study of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia has become wholly intertwined with the study of schizophrenia itself.
    03/2014; 1(1):e1–e9. DOI:10.1016/j.scog.2014.02.001
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: Social cognition is recognized to be a deficit in individuals suffering from schizophrenia. Numerous studies have explored the relationship between social cognition and social functioning in outpatients with schizophrenia through the use of different social cognition training programs. This study examines the efficacy of the Social Cognition Training Program (PECS in Spanish) in adults with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Methods: Data were derived from a sample of 44 non-hospitalized adult patients, who presented with a DSM-IV-R Axis I diagnosis of schizophrenia, and 39 healthy controls. Patients were divided into an experimental group and a control task group, that received cognitive training. Healthy controls did not receive any treatment. Sociodemographic and clinic variables correlates were computed. 2-way ANOVA was conducted to examine differences between groups in pre and post-treatment measures. Intragroup differences were explores using the paired-samples t-test. Results: At the end of the training, patients in the experimental group showed a higher performance compared to patients in the control task group, in the Hinting Task Test and in the emotion recognition of sadness, anger, fear, and disgust. Conclusions: The PECS proved to be effective in the improvement of some areas of theory of mind and emotion recognition, in outpatients with schizophrenia. The PECS is one of the first programs developed in Spanish to train social cognition, and the data obtained support the importance of expand the social cognition programs to non-English language samples.
    02/2014; DOI:10.3371/CSRP.GIFE.013114
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Symptom severity and neuropsychological deficits negatively influence functional outcomes in patients with schizophrenia. Recent research implicates specific types of biased thinking styles (e.g. jumping-to-conclusions) in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. This is the first study to test the impact of jumping-to-conclusions on functional outcome in schizophrenia. The aim of the study was to investigate the association of psychopathology, neuropsychology and JTC with subjective quality of life, vocational outcome and housing status in schizophrenia. Analyses were carried out both cross-sectionally at baseline, and longitudinally over the course of symptomatic improvement in the immediate aftermath of a psychotic exacerbation. Seventy-nine patients with schizophrenia were included in the study. Data concerning the variables of interest were collected at baseline, after one month, and after six months. Positive symptomatology was the most significant predictor of subjective and vocational outcome and changes across time. Verbal memory deficits were associated with functional status cross-sectionally, whereas general cognitive capacity significantly predicted functional changes over time. Improvement of the jumping-to-conclusions bias positively affected vocational outcome. Though limited, the observed effect of this bias on real-world functioning highlights the possible usefulness of interventions aimed at improving (meta)cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.
    Psychiatry Research 05/2014; 218(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.04.040 · 2.68 Impact Factor


Available from