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Wisdom Linked to Cognitive Performance in Schizophrenia

Better cognitive performance seen for persons with schizophrenia with higher vs. lower levels of wisdom

psychiatrist and patient

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For people with schizophrenia (PwS), wisdom is associated with better cognitive performance, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in Schizophrenia Research.

Ryan Van Patten, Ph.D., from the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, and colleagues administered a widely used, validated, three-dimensional wisdom scale, including cognitive, reflective, and affective dimensions, to examine group differences in wisdom among 65 stable adult outpatients with chronic schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 96 nonpsychiatric comparison participants (NPCPs).

The researchers found that compared with NPCPs, PwS had lower wisdom scores and wisdom moderated the relationships between diagnostic group and neurocognitive and functional performance. Better cognitive performance was seen for PwS with higher levels of wisdom than PwS with lower levels of wisdom. In PwS, but not in NPCPs, wisdom was positively correlated with performances on multiple neurocognitive tasks. In PwS, reflective wisdom, representing accurate/unbiased introspection and perspective taking, correlated with all mental health variables.

"Our findings argue for the utility of measuring wisdom in PwS, as increases in wisdom may facilitate enhanced social and neurocognition, and vice versa," the authors write. "Furthermore, results support the notion of 'wellness within illness,' whereby positive psychological characteristics are both present and measurable in people with psychiatric disorders, and higher levels of these traits promote health and well-being in subgroups of patients."

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