Author(s): Koelen JA, EurelingsBontekoe EH, van BroeckhuysenKloth SA, Snellen WM, Luyten P
Social cognition and its association with level of personality organization (PO) were examined in 163 patients with severe somatoform disorders (SFDs) and 151 psychiatric (PSA) control patients. Social cognition was measured with the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale, which assessed both affective and cognitive facets of social cognition. Levels of PO were assessed using theory-driven profiles of the Dutch Short Form of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). The SFD patients exhibited impairments in the cognitive facets of social cognition but not more so than the PSA controls. The results for the affective aspects indicated that the SFD patients exhibited lower levels of emotional investment yet higher affect tone in interactions than the PSA controls. In contrast to the control group, level of PO was not associated with social cognition in SFD. Together, the results indicated that impairments in complexity of mental representations are not specific to SFD patients, yet impairments in emotional investment may be specific to SFD.