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Social Cognition in the Early Stage Schizophrenia

Psychiatry Res; 2019 Feb; Mike, Guimond, et al

Social cognitive skills are composed of 3 separate domains in the early course of schizophrenia and Theory of Mind could be an important therapeutic target for early intervention, according to a recent study. Researchers performed an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) on 90 patients within the early course of schizophrenia using 11 validated subtests assessing various domains of social cognitive skills. The factors derived from this analysis were then used to investigate relationships between these distinct domains of social cognition skills and neurocognitive performance, clinical symptoms, and social functioning satisfaction. They found:

  • A 3-factor solution was identified, representing the domains of Emotion Management, Emotion Recognition, and Theory of Mind, together accounting for 55.88% of the variance.
  • Moreover, higher scores on the Theory of Mind factor were significantly related to higher social functioning satisfaction measures as well as with lower clinical symptoms severity.


Mike L, Guimond S, Kelly S, et al. Social cognition in early course of schizophrenia: Exploratory factor analysis. Psychiatry Res. 2019;272;737-743. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2018.12.152.