Self versus informant reports on the specific levels of functioning scale: Relationships to depression and cognition in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder

Julia Ermel, Cameron S Carter, James M. Gold, Angus W. MacDonald, John D Ragland, Steven M. Silverstein, Milton E. Strauss, Deanna M. Barch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


The goal of the current study was to examine the relationships between insight and both cognitive function and depression in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, and to determine if there were similar relationships across diagnostic categories. We examined discrepancies between self and informant reports of function on the Specific levels of function scale as a metric of insight for interpersonal, social acceptance, work and activities. We examined two samples of individuals with schizophrenia and/or schizoaffective disorder (Ns of 188 and 67 respectively). In Sample 1, cognition was measured using the Dot Probe Expectancy Task. In Sample 2, cognition was measured by averaging several subtests from the MATRICS consensus cognitive battery, as well as additional measures of working memory. In both samples, depression was measured using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. In both samples, we found significant relationships between worse cognition and overestimations of work function, as well as between higher depression levels and underestimation of interpersonal function. These relationships were specific to interpersonal and work function, with significantly stronger correlations with interpersonal and work function compared to the other areas of function. Similar results were found across diagnostic categories. These results have important implications for treatment planning, as they suggest the need to take into account depression and cognitive function when evaluating the patient's self-report of function, and highlight the utility of informant reports in evaluating function and treatment planning. Further, they add to the literature on the similarity across schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder in a variety of pathological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research: Cognition
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017



  • Cognition
  • Depression
  • Function
  • Insight
  • Interpersonal
  • Psychosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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