Functional recovery is now a recognized treatment goal for schizophrenia. It is therefore important to better understand the cognitive and psychological factors that influence functioning. Theory of mind (ToM) deficits are common in schizophrenia and have been linked to greater impairments in functioning. The current study aimed to identify which specific areas of functioning are linked to ToM in a group of 54 patients with a recent-onset of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder.
ToM was assessed with the Combined Stories Test (COST). Several areas of functioning were rated based on an extensive semi-structured interviews.
Among the different areas of functioning that were examined, ToM showed a significant, positive relationship with ratings for productive activities (e.g. work or school) as well as with collaboration to psychiatric care.
These results suggest that ToM can impair functioning especially in situations in which patients need to collaborate with others, including the interactions with the clinical team.