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Outcome of schizophrenia: some transcultural observations with particular reference to developing countries.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India.


The present paper provides a description of data based and methodologically sound studies of outcome of schizophrenia from developing and non-Western countries and compares the results. Major studies reviewed include the 2- and 5-year follow-up of the cohort of the International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia, the patients of the World Health Organization Collaborative Study on the Determinants of Outcome of Severe Mental Disorders, a few Indian studies including the study sponsored by the Indian Council of Medical Research and some studies from Colombia and South-East Asia. The studies are compared in terms of the quality of methodology and the rate of attrition. Although the outcome criteria of these studies are not similar, it is obvious that the outcome of schizophrenia in developing countries is generally more favourable. The reasons for this are far from clear. Research concerning the issues pertaining to better outcome of schizophrenia in developing countries in the context of socio-cultural differences in woefully lacking. This is an area that deserves research attention.

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