Multiple studies on insight into one's illness and self-stigma among patients with serious mental illness and their relatives have shown that these constructs are related to one another and that they affect outcome. However, a critical exploration of the items used to assess both constructs raises questions with regard to the possible overlapping and centrality of items. The current study used five different samples to explore the possible overlap and distinction between insight and self-stigma, and to identify central items, via network analyses and principal component factor analysis. Findings from the network analyses showed overlap between insight and self-stigma exist with a relatively clearer observational distinction between the constructs among the two parent samples in comparison to the patient samples. Principal component factor analysis constrained to two factors showed that a relatively high percentage of items were not loaded on either factor, and in a few datasets, several insight items were loaded on the self-stigma scale and vice versa. The author discusses implications for research and calls for rethinking the way insight is assessed. Clinical implications are also discussed in reference to central items of social isolation, future worries and stereotype endorsement among the different study groups.
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