Systematic review and meta-analysis of metacognitive abilities in individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders


Metacognitive deficits are well documented in schizophrenia spectrum disorders as a decreased capacity to adjust confidence to performance in a cognitive task. Because metacognitive ability directly depends on task performance, metacognitive deficits might be driven by lower task performance among patients. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a Bayesian meta-analysis of 42 studies comparing metacognitive abilities in 1425 individuals with schizophrenia compared to 1256 matched controls. We found a global metacognitive deficit in schizophrenia (g = -0.57, 95% CrI [-0.72, -0.43]), which was driven by studies which did not control task performance (g = -0.63, 95% CrI [-0.78, -0.49]), and inconclusive among controlled-studies (g = -0.23, 95% CrI [-0.60, 0.16], BF01 = 2.2). No correlation was found between metacognitive deficit and clinical features. We provide evidence that the metacognitive deficit in schizophrenia is inflated due to non-equated task performance. Thus, efforts should be made to develop experimental protocols accounting for lower task performance in schizophrenia.

Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews