Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Personal Narratives Examined in Schizophrenia

Schizophr Res; ePub 2017 Nov 16; Willits, et al

Recent findings suggest a particular pattern in persons with schizophrenia of difficulty with cohesively connecting thoughts about oneself and the world, which results in a perceived lack of coherence. These results are consistent with Bleuler's model of schizophrenia and offer a novel way to understand and measure alterations in thought and speech over time. In order to explore this question, researchers compared the personal narratives of adults with schizophrenia (n=200) to those produced by an HIV+ sample (n=55). They found:

  • Consistent with predictions, the narratives in schizophrenia exhibited less cohesion even after controlling for age and education.
  • Specifically, the schizophrenia group spoke fewer words, demonstrated less connection between ideas and clauses, provided fewer causal/intentional markers, and displayed lower levels of deep cohesion.
  • A classification model using only Coh-Metrix indices found language markers correctly classified participants in nearly three-fourths of cases.


Willits JA, Rubin T, Jones MN, Minor KS, Lysaker PH. Evidence of disturbances of deep levels of semantic cohesion within personal narratives in schizophrenia. [Published online ahead of print November 16, 2017]. Schizophr Res. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2017.11.014.

This Week's Must Reads

Relative Importance of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury, Psychiatry Res; ePub 2018 Feb 4; Burke, et al

Poor Sleep and Non-Medical Prescription Drug Use , Behav Sleep Med; ePub 2017 Dec 22; Alamir, et al

Restrictive Eating, Non-Suicidal Self Injury Link, Compr Psychiatry; ePub 2018 Feb 11; Wang, et al

Interdisciplinary Approach to Transgender Aging, Am J Geriatr Psych; ePub 2018 Feb 7; Johnson, et al

Contraceptive Choice Among Young Adults Examined, J Sex Res; ePub Jan 26; Harvey, Oakley, et al

Must Reads in Schizophrenia & Other Psychotic Disorders

Care Pathway Before Diagnosis of Psychotic Disorder, Am J Psych; ePub 2018 Jan 24; Simon, Stewart, et al

Synthetic Cannabinoid, Psychotic Disorders, and LOS, Psychiatry Res; ePub 2018 Jan 3; Deng, Mohite, et al

Examining Genetic Risk Factors for Schizophrenia, Psychiatry Res; ePub 2017 Dec 21; Nimgaonkar, et al

Personal Narratives Examined in Schizophrenia, Schizophr Res; ePub 2017 Nov 16; Willits, et al

FDA Approves First US Digital Medicine System, FDA news release; 2017 Nov 14