Neurocognitive prediction of illness knowledge after psychoeducation in schizophrenia: Results from the Munich COGPIP study

T. Jahn, G. Pitschel-Walz, A. Gsottschneider, T. Froböse, S. Kraemer, J. Bäuml

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Background Many patients with schizophrenia exhibit neurocognitive impairments, namely, in attentional, mnestic and executive functions. While these deficits limit psychosocial rehabilitation, their effect on psychoeducation is unknown. Within the framework of the longitudinal Munich Cognitive Determinants of Psychoeducation and Information in Schizophrenic Psychoses (COGPIP) study, we examined: (a) whether illness knowledge after psychoeducation could be predicted more precisely from the neurocognitive than from the psychopathological status of the patients; (b) which neurocognitive domains are best predictors.Method A total of 116 in-patients with schizophrenic or schizoaffective disorders were randomized to a neurocognitive training or control condition (2 weeks) followed by a manualized psychoeducational group programme (4 weeks) and then observed over a 9-month follow-up. Repeated measurements included -among others -the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery from which normative T scores were used to calculate one global and five domain-specific neurocognitive composite scores. Illness knowledge was measured by a questionnaire (WFB-52) tailored to the psychoeducational programme.Results Multiple linear regression analyses showed that, apart from baseline illness knowledge, neurocognition significantly predicted knowledge outcome as well as knowledge gain (measured by reliable change indices) after psychoeducation. This was not true for psychopathology. Among the domain-specific neurocognitive composite scores, only memory acquisition was a significant predictor of knowledge outcome and gain.Conclusions Neurocognition, not psychopathology, is a significant predictor of illness knowledge after psychoeducation in schizophrenia. This finding should guide efforts to tailor psychoeducational interventions more closely to the patient's needs and resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-544
Number of pages12
JournalPsychological Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Illness knowledge
  • neurocognition
  • psychoeducation
  • schizophrenia


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