What is insight? 

Insight is defined as the awareness of having a mental disorder, including an understanding of the social consequences associated with the disorder; the need for treatment; the effects of medication; an awareness of the implications; and awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disorder. Insight is clinically important as it is linked to non-adherence of treatment, as patients who lack insight may not believe they have a psychotic illness and therefore do not believe they need medication.

What is the evidence for insight?

Moderate quality evidence finds more severe symptoms are related to lower levels of insight of the disorder and its consequences. Conversely, increased depression is related to increased levels of insight.

Moderate to high quality evidence finds small associations between better insight and higher IQ and better memory functioning. Moderate quality evidence finds small associations between better insight and less aggression, better work and social functioning, increased treatment adherence, and fewer re-hospitalisations.

Moderate quality evidence suggests any treatment for schizophrenia improves insight, particularly in combination with other treatments that target insight specifically.

September 2020

Last updated at: 5:07 am, 8th September 2020
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Title Colour Legend:
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Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.