Awareness of Illness and Insight Into Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms in Schizophrenia Patients With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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Obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) have been revealed in a substantial proportion of schizophrenia patients. We sought to evaluate insight into OCS in schizo-obsessive patients. We evaluated insight into OCS and awareness of schizophrenia, using the Brown Assessment of Beliefs Scale (BABS) and the Scale to Assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder (SUMD), respectively. Fifty-seven inpatients that met DSM-IV criteria for both schizophrenia and OCD were recruited. To determine a possible modifying effect of OCS on the awareness of schizophrenia, we included a comparison group of non-OCD schizophrenia patients (N = 80). Nine (15.8%) schizo-obsessive patients revealed lack of insight into OCS, whereas a majority (48 patients, 84.2%) exhibited good or fair insight. In the schizo-obsessive group, insight into OCS positively correlated with awareness of schizophrenia but not with awareness of delusions. Roughly 40% of the schizo-obsessive and non-OCD schizophrenia patients revealed unawareness of schizophrenia. Our findings indicate that OCS in schizophrenia represent an identifiable dimension of psychopathology independent of core schizophrenia symptoms.

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