November 1965

Relevance of Psychotic Patients' "Insight" to Their Prognosis

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Socio-Environmental Studies, National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Linn is now at the Dental Health Center, Division of Dental Health, United States Public Health Service.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(5):424-428. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730050038006

IN THE PSYCHIATRIC charts of a mental hospital studied, patients' definitions of what they considered was wrong with themselves made up a section entitled "insight." In this article, we have categorized these definitions and have also used an additional measure of "insight"-Whether or not the patient's hospitalization had come about through his own effort. Further, we have asked if these measures of insight were associated with the patient's prognosis, as measured by release, with the hospital's approval, within one year of admission.

Psychiatric Implications of Insight  It would seem that insight is more integral to the psychiatric treatment of neurotics than psychotics. As an indication of initial insight, the neurotic patient is usually expected to demonstrate his acknowledgement that he is ill and motivated toward recovery by his seeking and continuing therapy. Within psychotherapy sessions, a more profound indication of his insight

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