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Schizophr Res. 2002 Jul 1;56(1-2):105-19.

Symptom patterns and subgrouping of schizophrenic patients: significance of negative symptoms assessed on admission.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


This study subgroups schizophrenic patients based on symptoms assessed on admission and examines the validity of the subgrouping using follow-up data and other clinical outcome variables. Schizophrenic patients (n=163) from consecutive admission received ratings on the positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) on admission and during a 1-year follow-up course. An exploratory graphic analysis on the admission PANSS derived four symptom dimensions: negative symptoms, disorganized thought, hostility/excitement and delusions/hallucinations. This yielded two subgroups of patients on admission, a group with marked negative (GWNEG) and a group without marked negative (GONEG) symptoms. Compared with the GONEG, the GWNEG had a poorer recovery rate, more impairment in attention, a slower response of the delusion/hallucination symptoms to neuroleptic treatment and a longer duration of index hospitalization. At a one-year follow-up, the GWNEG assessed on admission had persistently higher scores on the negative symptom and disorganized thought syndromes, less relapse rate, a shorter duration on job, as well as worse social functioning than the GONEG. Thus, the GONEG might comprise patients having a pure paranoid syndrome with quick and better treatment response, while the GWNEG comprises patients with the blunt-disorganization syndrome having a poorer outcome.

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