Journal published by the Hellenic
Psychiatric Association

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The associations of insight into psychosis (i.e., awareness of illness) with clinical variables have been examined by a great number of studies. Most of these studies revealed that the level of insight is negatively correlated with psychotic symptoms but positively correlated with depression and suicidal ideation. The aim of this study was to test these findings in a Greek sample of patients. Forty-three outpatients (30 men and 13 women) with schizophrenia or delusional disorder being followed up at the Mental Health Centre of Kavala took part in the study. Patients with bipolar or schizoaffective disorder were excluded. Patients’ mean age was 40.7 years and the mean duration of illness was 18.67 years. All participants were under treatment and clinically stable at the time of the study. We used the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) for the assessment of positive and negative symptoms, the Schedule for the Assessment of Insight-Expanded (SAI-E) to assess the insight into psychosis, and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) for the evaluation of depression recording separately the score for item 10 as an estimate of suicidal ideation. All the scales used have been adapted to Greek population. We used Spearman rho coefficient to assess the strength of correlations between the scales because the distributions of some scores were not normal. In order to assess the predictive value of insight for depression and suicidal ideation, we used hierarchical linear regression analysis. Correlation coefficients between SAI-E and the clinical scales of psychopathology, depression and suicide ideation was statistically significant at the p<0.01 level. The correlations between the clinical scales and the three subscales of SAI-E were also significant at the aforementioned p level. The regression analysis showed that our model of positive and negative psychopathology and insight explained 47.4% of the variance of depression and 32.2% of the variance of suicidal ideation. The predictive value of insight was critically important, because only after the introduction of the SAI-E score in the analysis our regression models reached statistical significance. Taking into account its limitations regarding the sample size and the chronicity of the illness, our study confirms the positive correlation of insight with depression and suicidal ideation, offering support to the psychological model of insight.

Key words: Insight, psychosis, depression, symptomatology, suicidal ideation.

E. Patelaros, E. Zournatzis, G. Konstantakopoulos (page 265) - Full article (Greek)