Social Cognition May Be A Key Factor In Employment For Schizophrenia Patients

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Social cognition, or the ability to understand and respond appropriately to social interactions, may be the most important factor in achieving successful employment for people with schizophrenia. It even appears social cognition may be more important than basic neurocognition and clinical symptoms, according to a new study presented at the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research by Felice Reddy, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science at UCLA.

Principle investigator Robert Kern, Ph.D., spoke to Psychiatric News following the presentation. He said, “Social cognition has become increasingly popular over the last 10 years as an important variable in understanding schizophrenia. […] In this study, we found that the one variable that distinguished workers from nonworkers was social cognition.”

The study analyzed data from 74 veterans – 68 men and six women – who met the criterion for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder according to the DSM-IV and were enrolled in the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center’s Supported-employment program.

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