Objectives. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between cognitive disability and social skills in an acute care adult inpatient psychiatric population (n = 55).

Method. Independent ratings of patient’s social skills were made during a semistructured interview using the Social Interaction Test (SIT), followed by measurement of cognitive disability using the revised Allen Cognitive Level Test (ACL-90). Reliability of the assessments was established.

Results. Significant correlations were found between the ACL-90 and SIT scores: patients with greater cognitive disability had poorer social skills. ACL-90 scores were not related to gender or diagnosis. A gender difference was found for SIT scores with women having better social skills than men.

Conclusion. These findings suggest there is a relationship between cognitive disability and social skills in adult psychiatric inpatients. Implications for occupational therapy treatment include better integration of the grading of the cognitive and social requirements of tasks to achieve optimal functioning.

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