Aims – To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Insight Scale (IS), self-report questionnaire assessing the awareness of psychiatric illness. The instrument contains two forms, the first A that enquires about the present status, and the second B that concerns past episodes of illness. Method – Factorial structure, internal consistency and concurrent validity (towards three selected items of the 24-item BPRS, Unusual thought content”, Conceptual disorganisation and Uncooperativeness) were studied on 80 chronic subjects affected by schizophrenia. Differences between acute and stabilised patients were investigated. Test-retest reliability was assessed in a sub-sample of 22 stable cases. Results – The Italian IS showed satisfactory concurrent validity and reliability. Acute patients had lower scores than stabilised ones. Factorial analysis brought to the distinction between insight for need for care in the present and in the past, which seems both plausible and clinically-useful. Conclusion æ The use of the IS Italian version may be encouraged as a valid insight self–report instrument. Sensitivity to change and predictive power concerning clinical and social outcome and adherence to treatment should be investigated.
Declaration of Interest: the study was supported by the National Project Mental Health, Mental Health Institute, Rome, Italy.