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Schizophr Res. 2000 Sep 29;45(1-2):47-56.

Depressive symptoms in stable chronic schizophrenia: prevalence and relationship to psychopathology and treatment.

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Holywell Hospital, Steeple Road, Northern Ireland, Antrim, UK.


The prevalence and correlates of the depressive syndrome were explored in a population of 120 patients with stable, chronic schizophrenia living in the community. The presence of clinically significant depressive symptoms was defined by a score of 17 or greater on the Beck Depression Inventory. Patients were examined to assess severity of schizophrenic symptoms and medication side-effects. Sixteen of the 120 patients (13.3%) had significant depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms were significantly correlated with the hostility/suspiciousness (P<0.0001), the positive symptom (P=0.0009) factor of the BPRS and with scores on the Significant Others Scale, a measure of patients' perceived lack of social support (P=0.0004). The association between depression and akathisia approached significance (P=0.007). There was no correlation with demographic variables, alcohol intake, antipsychotic dosage or anticholinergic dosage. Using a scale that rates the subjective aspects of the depressive syndrome, we found no evidence of a relationship between depression and negative symptoms in this population. These results indicate that persistent depressive symptoms in stable patients in the community are related to the degree of persistent positive psychotic symptoms, patient perceptions of social support and, weakly, to the degree of akathisia but not other aspects of antipsychotic treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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