Social withdrawal and neurocognitive correlates in schizophrenia

Domenico De Donatis, Stefano Porcelli, Diana De Ronchi, Emilio Merlo Pich, Martien J Kas, Amy Bilderbeck, Alessandro Serretti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)


Poor neurocognitive performance has been associated with poor functional outcome in schizophrenia (SCZ) in past studies. Nonetheless, the likely association between neurocognition and social withdrawal has never been investigated. The aim of our study was to investigate in a large and heterogeneous sample of SCZ patient cross-sectional associations between neurocognitive domains and social withdrawal. The sample included 761 SCZ patients who completed the baseline visit in the CATIE study. Neurocognition was assessed by a comprehensive battery of tests resulting in five domain scores and a composite score. Social withdrawal was measured by a specific item of the Heinrichs-Carpenter Quality of Life Scale. Social withdrawal was associated with a lower score in the neurocognitive composite score and in 'Verbal memory,' 'Processing speed' and 'Working memory' scores. 'Verbal memory' score showed the strongest association with social withdrawal. Eight percent of the total variance of social withdrawal was explained by these three cognitive domains and additional clinical and sociodemographic factors (education years, PANSS positive symptoms score, and employment). Our results confirmed the wide heterogeneity and specificity of the correlation between neurocognitive domains and indicators of functional outcome in SCZ, underlining the role of certain neurocognitive abilities in social withdrawal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-109
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Early online date31-Jan-2022
Publication statusPublished - 1-May-2022


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