Insight and Interpersonal Function in Schizophrenia

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Research has linked impaired insight in schizophrenia to poorer medication compliance and treatment outcome. It is unclear, however, whether poorer interpersonal function is also associated with impaired insight. To examine this question, subjects with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were classified as having unimpaired (N = 44) or impaired (N = 57) insight, and their scores on Heinrichs et al.'s Quality of Life (QOL) Scale were compared. Multiple regressions were conducted to determine the relationship between individual components and social function. Results indicate that subjects with impaired insight had significantly poorer QOL interpersonal relation and intrapsychic foundation scores than unimpaired subjects, despite having equivalent deficit symptoms. Unawareness of the social consequences of illness was found to be the component of insight more closely linked to social dysfunction. This suggests that impairments in insight may be uniquely associated with social dysfunction.

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