Outcome in schizophrenia is multidimensional and consists of clinical and psychosocial domains. Difficulties in affect recognition are a hallmark of schizophrenia, but there is little research investigating the consequences of this deficit on patients’ psychosocial status. This cross-sectional study examined the relationship of facial affect recognition and treatment outcomes in terms of psychopathology, quality of life (QOL), and psychosocial functioning.
We investigated 40 regular attendees of a specialized schizophrenia outpatient clinic who had been stable both from a symptomatic and a medication perspective for a minimum of 6 months and 40 healthy volunteers who were chosen to match patients in age, sex, and education. Affect recognition was positively associated with patients’ level of education and negatively with increasing age. Deficits in this area corresponded to the severity of negative and affective symptoms as well as to poor work and global functioning. These findings suggest that affect recognition is an important aspect of psychosocial functioning in stable outpatients with schizophrenia.