Insight and personal narratives of illness in schizophrenia

Paul H. Lysaker, Catherine A. Clements, Cynthia D. Plascak-Hallberg, Stacy J. Knipscheer, Dustin E. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

280 Scopus citations


Insight in schizophrenia tends to be assessed as the degree to which one possesses specific knowledge. It therefore often fails to account for the fact that awareness of illness is an inextricable part of a personal narrative and may be incoherent or incomplete for many different narrative reasons. Accordingly, we have developed a means of eliciting narratives of illness: the Indiana Psychiatric Illness Interview, and a method for rating the coherence of those narratives: the Narrative Coherence Rating Scale. In this article we describe these methods and present data on their reliability and validity in a study of the illness narratives of 33 outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Results suggest our measures possess sufficient internal consistency and good to excellent interrater reliability. Additionally, as predicted, our measures of narrative coherence were significantly correlated with traditional measures of insight and with measures of cognitive impairment and hopelessness gathered earlier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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