Background: Psychotic disorders are associated with significant social dysfunction. Anomalous self-experiences (ASE) present in psychotic disorders could contribute to social dysfunction.
Aim: To investigate if ASE contribute to social dysfunction in the early phases of psychotic disorders after controlling for factors related to social functioning including diagnoses.
Methods: ASE were assessed by means of the EASE (Examination of Anomalous Self-Experience) in 76 patients referred to their first adequate treatment for schizophrenia or psychotic bipolar disorder. Diagnoses, symptom severity, and functioning were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia, Premorbid Adjustment Scale, Global Assessment of Functioning--Split Version, and Social Functioning Scale. Neurocognitive assessments included measures of psychomotor speed, working memory, executive and memory functions. Duration of untreated psychosis was also assessed.
Results: High levels of ASE were significantly associated with poorer social functioning in the early phases of schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder also after correcting for diagnosis.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the significance of ASE for social dysfunction in patients with psychotic disorders, and contributes to the understanding of the complexity of illness-related factors that affect social functioning.
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