Cognitive function and competitive employment in schizophrenia: relative contribution of insight and psychopathology
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This study investigated the relationships among insight, psychopathology, cognitive function, and competitive employment in order to determine whether insight and/or psychopathology carried the influence of cognitive function to competitive employment.
We recruited 253 outpatients with stable schizophrenia and we further divided our sample into two groups of patients (unemployed and competitive employment subjects). Clinical and neuropsychological assessments were performed. All clinical variables significantly different between the two groups of subjects were subsequently analyzed using a binary logistic regression to assess their independent contribution to competitive employment in the two patients’ groups. On the basis of the regression results two mediation analyses were performed.
Verbal memory, general psychopathology, and awareness of mental illness were significantly associated with competitive employment in our sample. Both awareness of mental illness and general psychopathology had a role in mediating the verbal memory–competitive employment relationship.
Taken together, these findings confirmed the importance of cognitive function in obtaining competitive employment. Our results also highlighted the independent role of general psychopathology and awareness of illness on occupational functioning in schizophrenia. Thus, a greater attention must be given to the systematic investigation of insight and general psychopathology in light of an amelioration of vocational functioning in stable schizophrenia.