Insight in nonpsychotic disorders: A new model of insight and a systematic review of measures

Asala Halaj*, Jonathan D. Huppert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: There is substantial research examining insight in psychotic disorders and in some nonpsychotic disorders. However, there has been little attention given to many nonpsychotic disorders. Research on insight in psychosis distinguishes between cognitive and clinical insight. In most studies examining insight in nonpsychotic disorders, definitions and assessments of insight vary significantly. The purpose of this review is to suggest a definition of insight in nonpsychotic disorders such that it can be used across different disorders. Method: We systematically review the extant literature of insight in nonpsychotic disorders and analyze the assessments used in order to determine how well they capture these two types of insight. Then, we discuss how these two constructs can provide better understanding of the phenomenology of insight in nonpsychotic disorders. Results: The systematic search resulted in 99 articles. These articles used 17 different methods of measuring insight, containing 127 questions. Results of the content analysis of items suggested that measures of insight used in nonpsychotic disorders do not distinguish between cognitive and clinical insight, but that most questions (90%) can indeed be reliably differentiated. Conclusion: We provide a multidimensional model of cognitive and clinical insight in nonpsychotic disorders, emphasizing the complexity of assessment and the importance of accurately defining insight. Such definitions have important theoretical and clinical implications, offering a better understanding of the concept of insight in nonpsychotic disorders.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)28-38
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2021.


  • Assessment
  • clinical insight
  • cognitive insight
  • nonpsychotic disorders


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