BACKGROUND There is a paucity of research into the relationship between insight and variables including cognitive function, educational background and symptomatology in schizophrenia.
METHOD Sixty-four patients with DSM-III-R diagnosis schizophrenia were assessed with the Schedule for Assessment of Insight, Mini Mental State cognitive test, a new measure of knowledge about treatment (the Understanding of Medication Questionnaire), and educational background and compliance assessments.
RESULTS Insight scores correlated significantly with a range of variables. In a multiple regression analysis only knowledge about treatment and number of years in education explained a significant proportion of insight.
CONCLUSION Educational background and the intellectual ability required to learn complex concepts, such as models of mental illness, appear to be more important than previously considered. Research is limited by the lack of a generally accepted definition of insight.