The metacognitive functioning in schizophrenia: a proposal for assessment

Il funzionamento metacognitivo della schizofrenia: proposta di valutazione

R. Popolo (1,2), G. Vinci (3), F. D’Amato (4), L. Buonocore (1), A. Balbi (3), G. Dimaggio (1), G. Salvatore (1)

1 Centro di Terapia Metacognitiva Interpersonale, Roma; 2 Studi Cognitivi, Modena; 3 DSM ASL Roma D; 4 DSM ASL Verbania


Several studies have highlighted many metacognitive deficits in patients with schizophrenia.

The concept of metacognition refers to all those abilities that are needed to understand one’s own or someone else’s thoughts and affections, and refers also to the process of reflection on mental states that allows to use such information to solve psychological or interpersonal conflicts. Thus, metacognition includes a series of semi-independent abilities that could be damaged separately or in combination. Due to the multi-dimensional nature of the construct, in this survey we suggest a battery of tests, each test analyses different metacognitive functions. Furthermore, we propose an implementation of such battery through the presentation of results of two groups of patients with schizophrenia (characterized by different levels of inveteracy), and the comparison with a control group composed of healthy subjects. The implementation of this battery has highlighted the presence of metacognitive impairments from the early onset of the disease, while the comparison between chronic patients and patients at the early onset of the disease shows a gradual impairment of such abilities.

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