Social Cognition, Negative Symptoms and Psychosocial Functioning in Schizophrenia.

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Madeira, N; Caldeira, S; Bajouco, M; Pereira, AT; Martins, MJ; Macedo, A
Esquizofrenia; Psicologia do Esquizofrénico; Perturbações Cognitivas
article description
Although functional recovery could be advocated as an achievable treatment goal, many effective interventions for the treatment of psychotic symptoms, such as antipsychotic drugs, may not improve functioning. The last two decades of cognitive and clinical research on schizophrenia were a turning point for the firm acknowledgment of how relevant social cognitive deficits and negative symptoms could be in predicting psychosocial functioning. The relevance of social cognition dysfunction in schizophrenia patients’ daily living is now unabated. In fact, social cognition deficits could be the most significant predictor of functionality in patients with schizophrenia, non-redundantly with neurocognition. Emerging evidence suggests that negative symptoms appear to play an indirect role, mediating the relationship between neurocognition and social cognition with functional outcomes. Further explorations of this mediating role of negative symptoms have revealed that motivational deficits appear to be particularly important in explaining the relationship between both neurocognitive and social cognitive dysfunction and functional outcomes in schizophrenia. In this paper we will address the relative contribution of two key constructs—social cognitive deficits and negative symptoms, namely how intertwined they could be in daily life functioning of patients with schizophrenia.