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Br J Psychiatry. 2000 Jul;177:26-32.

Cognitive and behavioural functioning in men with schizophrenia both before and shortly after first admission to hospital. Cross-sectional analysis.

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  • 1Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.



The extent of premorbid changes associated with the onset of schizophrenia are debated.


The study examined cognitive and behavioural functioning prior to, and after, first hospitalisation for schizophrenia.


Data from the Israeli Draft Board Register of intelligence, social functioning and behaviour testing for all Israeli males aged 16-17 was linked with data from the National Psychiatric Hospitalisation Case Register. This identified 692 men who had been admitted to hospital for schizophrenia. Cases and non-cases matched on age and school were compared, as were cases aggregated by the time that had elapsed between testing and first admission to hospital.


Cases performed worse than non-cases on all measures. On Social Functioning and on Raven's Progressive Matrices-R, differences between cases and non-cases were progressively greater for cases admitted closer to the time of testing. These differences were greatest for persons tested after first psychiatric hospitalisation.


The results confirm premorbid deficits associated with schizophrenia and support the hypothesis that decline is progressive.

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