Relationship between Theory of Mind and Executive Function in Schizophrenia: A Systematic ReviewPickup G.J.
Sub-Department of Clinical Health Psychology, University College London, London, UK
Dr. G.J. Pickup
Sub-Department of Clinical Health Psychology
University College London, Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT (UK)
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Background: There is good agreement that Theory of Mind (ToM) and executive function are impaired to some degree in many patients with schizophrenia. However, few studies have set out to investigate as a primary aim the relationship between these 2 cognitive domains in the disorder. Methods: A systematic review was carried out to identify all published studies in which tests of ToM and executive function were administered to individuals with schizophrenia, and in which the relation between scores was reported. Results: The review revealed 17 relevant studies, of which 8 reported the relation between ToM and executive function using multivariate statistics. These all concurred in showing that ToM ability continued to predict an individual having schizophrenia (rather than being a control participant) once executive function was controlled for. Conclusions: There is very good agreement that ToM and executive function impairments in schizophrenia are independent of one another. Implications are discussed for the putative brain systems involved in the disorder and for its cognitive rehabilitation.
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