Author(s): Dr. C. J. Maikandaan
BACKGROUND Insight in mental illness plays major role in the diagnosis as well as is a predictor of treatment response. This holds true and highly impactful in the case of psychotic phenomenon where the absence of Insight was used as the defining theme. In this context, we planned to study the sociodemographic and clinical variables of insight in schizophrenia and its association with executive function and severity of psychotic symptoms. METHODS After Institutional Ethics Committee approval, and after getting informed consent from patients, a sample (N) of 53 outpatients with diagnosis of Schizophrenia were recruited. A semi structured proforma was used for sociodemographic and clinical data. Scale to assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder (SUMD), Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS), Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) and Trail Making Test (TMT) were applied. The data collected were tabulated and analysed. RESULTS Mean age was 30 years. 60% were male and 40% were female. The mean duration of illness was 43.62 months and the mean duration of untreated psychosis was 7.06 months. The mean age of onset of illness was 26.74 years. The means of average attribution score and average awareness score from the scale for assessment of unawareness of mental disorders were 2.48 ± 0.66 and 3.66 ± 4.58 respectively. The mean positive symptom score and negative symptom score were 13.7 ± 3.01 and 8.92 ± 4.36 respectively. Multiple regression run to predict insight and total positive symptoms score was not statistically significant (F(3,49) = 11.148, p>.05). Similarly, multiple regression did not reveal any significant association (F(1,51) = 3.114, p>.05) between insight and total negative symptom score. Multiple regression run to predict insight from executive functions represented by TMT-A and TMT-B scores revealed no significant association (F(2,50) = 9.010, p>.05) between executive function and insight.