Neuropsychological deficits and severity of initial psychopathology have been repeatedly associated with poor symptomatic outcomes in schizophrenia. The role of higher-order cognitive biases on symptomatic outcomes of the disorder has not yet been investigated. The present study aimed to assess the contribution of cognitive biases, psychopathology and neuropsychological deficits on the probability of achieving early symptomatic remission after a psychotic episode in patients with schizophrenia. Participants were 79 patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder undergoing an acute psychotic episode, and 25 healthy controls. According to psychopathology assessments, patients were split into those who had achieved remission after an average follow-up interval of 7 months, and those who had not (NR). Patients who achieved remission exhibited higher premorbid IQ and better performance on the TMT-B, as well as lower baseline positive, disorganized and distress symptoms than NR patients. TMT-B performance and positive symptoms at baseline were the best predictors of remission. Cognitive biases and negative symptoms were not associated with later remission. The findings highlight the significance of initial symptom severity for at least short-term symptomatic outcomes and, thus, the importance of adequate symptomatic treatment and prevention of psychotic outbreaks in patients.
- Cognitive biases