Self-reported interpersonal functioning is determined by current level of depression, both in patients with schizophrenia and in healthy control individuals. In a recent study published in Psychiatry Research, investigators sought to examine depression, sex, and schizophrenia as predictors of self-reported everyday functioning, based on data from the final phase of the Social Cognition Psychometric Evaluation Study (SCOPE).

Lisa Oliveri, MD, from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Florida, and colleagues collected data from 3 sites located in Florida, North Carolina, and Texas.

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A total of 372 participants were enrolled in the current study, including 218 stable outpatients diagnosed with either schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 154 healthy control individuals (63% men). All the participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory, second edition. The participants also completed the Observable Social Cognition Rating Scale (OSCARS), which includes 8 items designed to evaluate social cognition, and the 31-item Specific Levels of Functioning Scale (SLOP).

Overall, individuals with schizophrenia reported significantly higher levels of depression (P <.001), poorer social functioning (P <.001), and poorer everyday social functioning (P <.001). Furthermore, women reported significantly more depression (P <.001) and poorer social cognitive ability than men. Regarding self-reported social functioning, the sex difference did not approach statistical significance (P =.98), with identical mean scores reported.

In linear regression analyses, depression (P <.001) and social cognition (P =.004), but not diagnosis or sex, were significant predictors of self-reported everyday functioning. In addition, in forced entry hierarchical analyses, depression accounted for 16% and 14% of the variance of social functioning and social cognitive ability scores, respectively. Sex and diagnosis, in contrast, accounted for 8% and 24% of the variation, respectively.

The investigators concluded that self-reported interpersonal functioning is determined by an individual’s current level of depression. However, the results may be limited by the low levels of depression in the healthy control group and the subjective self-report measures used.

Prior research in healthy control individuals has tied mild dysthymia to accurate self-assessment of functioning. Future studies must tease out differences between subjective views and objective evaluations of social and cognitive functioning.

Disclosures: multiple study authors reported links to the pharmaceutical industry. See the original paper for a full list of declarations of competing interest.

Reference

Oliveri LN, Awerbuch AW, Jarskog LF, Penn DL, Pinkham A, Harvey PD. Depression predicts self assessment of social function in both patients with schizophrenia and healthy people [published online November 6, 2019]. Psychiatry Res. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2019.112681