The longitudinal association between social functioning and theory of mind in first-episode psychosis
IntroductionThere is some cross-sectional evidence that theory of mind ability is associated with social functioning in those with psychosis but the direction of this relationship is unknown. This study investigates the longitudinal association between both theory of mind and psychotic symptoms and social functioning outcome in first-episode psychosis.MethodsFifty-four people with first-episode psychosis were followed up at 6 and 12 months. Random effects regression models were used to estimate the stability of theory of mind over time and the association between baseline theory of mind and psychotic symptoms and social functioning outcome.ResultsNeither baseline theory of mind ability (regression coefficients: Hinting test 1.07 95% CI -0.74, 2.88; Visual Cartoon test -2.91 95% CI -7.32, 1.51) nor baseline symptoms (regression coefficients: positive symptoms -0.04 95% CI -1.24, 1.16; selected negative symptoms -0.15 95% CI -2.63, 2.32) were associated with social functioning outcome. There was evidence that theory of mind ability was stable over time, (regression coefficients: Hinting test 5.92 95% CI -6.66, 8.92; Visual Cartoon test score 0.13 95% CI -0.17, 0.44).ConclusionsNeither baseline theory of mind ability nor psychotic symptoms are associated with social functioning outcome. Further longitudinal work is needed to understand the origin of social functioning deficits in psychosis.