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Psychiatry Res. 1999 Nov 8;88(2):143-52.

Full recovery from schizophrenia: the prognostic role of premorbid adjustment, symptoms at first admission, precipitating events and gender.

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Institute of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway.


A number of long-term studies of course and outcome in schizophrenia report that about a fourth of the cases show good clinical and social recovery. However, very few studies have been carried out examining the main characteristics of schizophrenia patients who have fully recovered according to a strict definition of 'full recovery'. The purpose of the present study was, therefore, to compare a group of 17 fully recovered schizophrenia patients (Group A) with a group of 33 patients (Group B) with current symptoms of schizophrenia on several prognostic factors that have been associated with a good outcome. These clinical groups were matched groupwise with a similar mean on two variables: age range at onset of illness and age at time of interview. Duration of illness (length of time from age of onset of illness to time of assessment) was 22.4 years in group A and 21 years in group B. Mean GAS scores were 72.2 and 46.5, respectively. Positive symptoms (delusions and disorganized behavior) at admission predicted an unfavorable outcome. The results confirmed the prognostic significance of several clinical and demographic factors. However, a good premorbid adjustment did not show significant predictive power, but showed substantial association in the predicted direction. In addition, a clear sex difference was found: women report a significantly better premorbid functioning and demonstrate a more favorable psychosocial functioning than men.

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