Autistic Symptoms and Social Cognition Predict Real-World Outcomes in Patients With Schizophrenia

Giacomo Deste, Antonio Vita, Gabriele Nibbio, David L. Penn, Amy E. Pinkham, Philip D. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Real-world functioning is a complex construct influenced by different factors. The impact of social cognition and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms on different aspects of the life of people with schizophrenia has been demonstrated independently, but it is unclear how these factors are related to functioning when considered concurrently. We hypothesized that ASD symptoms could play a major role in predicting real-world functioning in schizophrenia. Methods: Existent databases from two studies (SCOPE Phase 3 and SCOPE Phase 5), in which a total of 361 patients (mean age 41.7 years; 117 females) were assessed with measures of symptom severity, neuro- and socio-cognitive abilities, functional capacity, social skills, and informant-reported real-world functioning outcomes, were analyzed. Results: Active social avoidance, social skills, ASD symptoms, and emotion processing emerged as predictors of real-world interpersonal relationships. Cognitive performance, positive symptoms, and functional capacity emerged as predictors of real-world participation in daily activities. Cognitive performance, emotion processing, positive symptoms severity, and social skills emerged as predictors of real-world work outcomes. Conclusion: Among other demographic, clinical, and functional capacity variables, increased ASD symptoms emerged as a significant predictor of poorer social relationships and may therefore represent a key factor in predicting real-world social functioning in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number524
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
StatePublished - Jun 5 2020


  • PANSS Autism Severity Score
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • real-world outcomes
  • schizophrenia
  • social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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