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Exploring the use of the hinting task in first-episode psychosis
journal contributionposted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Sumudu MallawaarachchiSumudu Mallawaarachchi, S M Cotton, J Anderson, E Killackey, K A Allott
Introduction: The aim of the study was to elucidate the association between performance-related neurocognitive abilities and Theory of Mind (ToM) as measured by the Hinting Task (HT) performance and investigate the psychometric properties of the HT for use in First-Episode Psychosis (FEP). Methods: Cross-sectional data of 132 participants with FEP, aged 15–25 years, enrolled in a randomised controlled trial of vocational intervention, were analysed. A comprehensive cognitive battery including social cognitive and neurocognitive measures, a social and occupational functioning measure and psychopathological measures, were used. Psychometric properties were measured through bivariate correlations and associations with neurocognitive domains were assessed through hierarchical regression. Results: Low convergent validity of the HT with other ToM measures, moderate discriminant validity with an emotion recognition task, low predictive validity with social and occupational functioning, and high internal consistency were revealed. HT performance was significantly associated with verbal reasoning and verbal memory. Conclusion: Results provide preliminary evidence of low convergent validity and moderate discriminant validity of the HT in FEP, and the influence of verbal reasoning and verbal memory on HT performance, indicating that caution is warranted when employing the HT as a screening tool in isolation for detection of ToM deficits in FEP.