BACKGROUND This study examined the effect of emotional salience on the severity of thought disorder in schizophrenic patients.
METHOD Ten thought disordered and ten non-thought disordered schizophrenic patients were interviewed under two conditions: a personal interview involving material which was emotionally salient and an impersonal interview involving material which was not emotionally salient.
RESULTS Both groups exhibited some thought disorder during both interviews. The thought disordered patients exhibited significantly more thought disorder during the emotionally salient interview.
CONCLUSIONS Thought disorder in schizophrenic patients is affected by the emotional salience of the material being discussed. Clinical implications are discussed.