An exploration of self-awareness of autobiographical memory deficits in forensic mental health service users with psychosis and its impact on service engagement

Cameron, Lynsey (2015) An exploration of self-awareness of autobiographical memory deficits in forensic mental health service users with psychosis and its impact on service engagement. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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People with psychosis display difficulties with autobiographical memory (AM). They also show poor awareness of deficits in cognitive ability; however, it is not yet known if this extends to awareness of deficits in AM. It is unclear if any awareness deficit is specific to AM or is part of a more general deficit in metacognitive ability. Alternatively, awareness deficits could be attributable to executive functioning problems. Deficits in these domains are also predicted to disrupt engagement in services.

We aimed to test the degree to which patients were aware of deficits in AM and the extent to which this awareness, and their AM ability, were related to metacognitive ability. We also aimed to identify if AM for crime-related memories differed to that for general events and to study the impact of these factors on engagement in services.

AM and metacognitive abilities were indexed using the AMI and the MAS-A. Awareness of AM abilities was operationalised as the discrepancy between self-ratings and actual performance. Cognitive functioning was also tested using a digit span, story recall, and ToPF. Staff members rated the service engagement of each participant using the SES.

Results :
Participants recalled recent events better than events from early adulthood or childhood. They judged that they were able to better recall offence histories than other life events. They exhibited a more impaired metacognitive ability than observed in a previous sample of healthy controls, and the results display a non-significant trend towards AM ability being related to metacognitive ability. Engagement was unrelated to metacognition or AM.

We present preliminary evidence of an association between AM ability and metacognition; however, there are methodological limitations. This shows signs that there may be a benefit to conducting a larger sample size study in this area. It also allowed us to pilot and evaluate the methods, identifying ways in which research could be progressed in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McLeod, Dr. Hamish
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Dr Lynsey Cameron
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6710
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2015 14:01
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2015 09:09

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