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Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1999;249 Suppl 4:27-36.

Deficit syndromes in schizophrenic patients 15 years after their first hospitalisation: preliminary results of a follow-up study.

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Psychiatrische Klinik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, Germany.


This study is a follow-up study on broadly defined schizophrenic disorders. Patients were assessed standardized at the time of their first hospitalization (admission and discharge) and reassessed in an standardized manner 15 years later. The aim of the analyses presented here was to evaluate the frequency of patients with markedly expressed negative symptoms in terms of deficit syndrome and to analyze which of the variables assessed at the time of first hospitalization were predictive concerning deficit syndromes at follow-up. Results indicate that nearly one third of patients have developed a deficit syndrome 15 years after their first hospitalization. These patients are characterized by severe impairments in important areas of life, such as partnership or employment. Furthermore, apart from more pronounced negative symptoms, these patients also have more paranoid-hallucinatory symptoms than schizophrenic patients without deficit syndromes. Predictive signs for non-development of a deficit syndrome 15 years later were good global functioning, female gender, pronounced depressive symptoms and good treatment response concerning negative and paranoid-hallucinatory symptoms at first hospitalization. A longer duration of symptoms prior to first hospitalization, lack of a partnership, pronounced negative symptoms at admission and at discharge were predictive of developing a deficit syndrome. Results are discussed with regard to the literature and to methodological limitations.

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