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The European Journal of Psychiatry

versión impresa ISSN 0213-6163


LYSAKER, Paul H. et al. Metacognition in schizophrenia spectrum disorders: Methods of assessment and associations with neurocognition and function. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2010, vol.24, n.4, pp.220-226. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and Objectives: Research has confirmed that many with schizophrenia experience deficits in metacognitive capacity defined as impairments in the ability to think about thinking, both with regards to their own thinking and the thinking of others. These difficulties are related to, but not reducible to symptoms. One question posed here regards how these deficits are linked to other forms of cognitive deficits, including deficits in neurocognition, and how they and other forms of cognitive deficits are related to the ability to function. As neurocognition is degraded in schizophrenia, does the ability to think about one´s own thinking diminish? Do deficits in metacognition affect function in a manner semi-independent of deficits in neurocognition? Methods: To explore these possibilities, this paper reviews recent studies of metacognition as assessed within personal narratives of self and illness spontaneously generated by adults with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Results: Studies are reviewed which suggest that impairments in verbal memory and executive function may interfere with the ability to form and sustain representation of one´s own internal state as well as the internal states of others. Additionally, results are detailed which suggest that metacognitive deficits directly affect function prospectively and may mediate the impact of neurocognitive deficits on functioning. Conclusions: Results are consistent with the possibility that a certain level of neurocognition is needed to think about thinking in a complex manner and that the ability to think about thinking is intimately related to the ability to work and relate to others among persons with schizophrenia.

Palabras clave : Schizophrenia; Psychotherapy; Recovery; Narrative; Metacognition; Psychosis; Quality of life; Self.

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