Many individuals with early psychosis experience impairments in social and occupational function. Identification of modifiable predictors of function such as cognitive performance has the potential to inform effective treatments. Our aim was to estimate the strength of the relationship between psychosocial function in early psychosis and different domains of cognitive and social cognitive performance. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of peer-reviewed, cross-sectional, and longitudinal studies examining cognitive predictors of psychosocial function. Literature searches were conducted in PsycINFO, PubMed, and reference lists of relevant articles to identify studies for inclusion. Of the 2565 identified, 46 studies comprising 3767 participants met inclusion criteria. Separate meta-analyses were conducted for 9 cognitive domains. Pearson correlation values between cognitive variables and function were extracted. All cognitive domains were related to psychosocial function both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Importantly, these associations remained significant even after the effects of symptom severity, duration of untreated psychosis, and length of illness were accounted for. Overall, general cognitive ability and social cognition were most strongly associated with both concurrent and long-term function. Associations demonstrated medium effect sizes. These findings suggest that treatments targeting cognitive deficits, in particular those focusing on social cognition, are likely to be important for improving functional outcomes in early psychosis.
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