Early Interv Psychiatry 2019 06 4;13(3):604-612. Epub 2018 Jan 4.
LWL University Hospital Bochum, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry and Psychiatric Preventive Medicine, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.
Aims: Improving diagnostic batteries to identify individuals at-risk for developing psychotic disorders as early as possible is an ongoing challenge in schizophrenia research. Here, we sought to explore whether metacognition in at-risk of developing psychosis would differ from that of first episode psychosis and unaffected controls and whether dysfunctional metacognitive beliefs would be associated with psychosocial functioning in the clinical groups.
Methods: Twenty-three subjects at-risk of psychosis were compared with a group of 15 first psychotic episode patients and 21 healthy controls with regard to their metacognitive beliefs and psychosocial functioning. Metacognition was assessed using the Metacognition Questionnaire (MCQ), psychosocial functioning was rated using the Personal and Social Performance Scale (PSP). Depression and anxiety were also evaluated.
Results: The clinical groups differed significantly from controls in several MCQ scores, particularly the subscales "negative beliefs" and "need for control," as well as on all PSP scales. Furthermore, significant correlations emerged between the metacognition and psychosocial functioning. A mediation analysis revealed that dysfunctional metacognitive beliefs had no direct effect on psychosocial functioning, but was mediated by depressive symptoms.
Conclusions: These results corroborate findings assigning depressive symptoms an important role in early recognition of psychosis.