Evaluating insight in psychiatric patients

Oleg Lapshin, Kalisankar Mallik, Joseph Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Insight (self-awareness of mental disorder) is an important predictor of treatment adherence and outcomes in psychiatric patients. The issue of insight assessment can be difficult in both research and clinical practice. We have created the Short Insight Checklist (SIC) and conducted a pilot study to evaluate its psychometric properties. Methods. We enrolled 38 consecutive patients from an outpatient clinic in downtown Baltimore. We used the Short Insight Checklist (SIC) and self-rated Insight Scale (IS) as another tool to assess insight. Results and discussion. The scale has good psychometric properties with Cronbach alpha 0.83 and the mean inter-item correlation of 0.50. The majority of the patients had either good (36.8%, 14 subjects) or satisfactory (42.1%, 16) levels of insight. Patients with schizophrenia had a lower level of insight than patients with major depressive disorder (14.7 vs. 20.2, p=0.06). The total SIC score and total score of the Insight Scale were correlated at r=0.43, p>0.01 which is acceptable for establishing the criterion validity. Conclusion. The Short Insight Checklist shows good initial psychometric properties in this pilot study and can be used for insight assessment in psychiatric patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalBridging Eastern and Western Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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