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Emotional intelligence and non-social cognition in schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 September 2016

B. Frajo-Apor
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
G. Kemmler
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
S. Pardeller
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
T. Plass
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria
M. Mühlbacher
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria
A.-S. Welte
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
W. W. Fleischhacker
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
A. Hofer
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
Corresponding

Abstract

Background

The different patterns of Emotional Intelligence (EI) deficits in schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder are are not yet well understood. This study compares EI levels among these groups and highlights the potential impact of non-social cognition on EI.

Method

Fifty-eight schizophrenia and 60 bipolar outpatients were investigated using the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS). Analyses of covariance were performed with adjustment for the BACS composite score.

Results

Compared to bipolar subjects, schizophrenia patients showed significantly lower levels in both EI and non-social cognition. After adjustment for the BACS composite score, the difference in EI was lost. The mediation analysis revealed that differences between schizophrenia and bipolar patients in strategic EI are almost fully attributable to the mediating effect of non-social cognition.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that in both schizophrenia and bipolar patients EI is strongly influenced by non-social cognitive functioning. This has to be taken into account when interpreting MSCEIT data in comparative studies in serious mental illness and emphasizes the importance of cognitive remediation.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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