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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2007 Dec;41(12):969-79.

Australian Schizophrenia Care and Assessment Programme: real-world schizophrenia: outcomes.

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Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Alfred and Monash University School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Vic, Australia.



It has been increasingly recognized that there is need to assess patient outcomes in schizophrenia across a broad range of dimensions. But few studies have attempted to do this in clinical populations and no systematic study has broadly assessed outcomes in schizophrenia in Australia using a longitudinal design. Thus, a real-world study, the Schizophrenia Care and Assessment Programme (SCAP), was structured to collect comprehensive information over time to inform policy debate and extend current knowledge about the course of schizophrenia in an Australian context.


A cohort of 347 patients with schizophrenia was followed up over 3 years. Clinical outcomes, occupational and psychosocial functioning and quality of life were assessed at 6 monthly intervals, and resource utilization and costing data were collected continuously from internal and external databases as well as from participants directly.


The participants as a group experienced an overall decline in positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, a reduction in general psychopathology and a reduction in severity of depression. There was an improvement in functioning, a reduction in mental health-related disability and an improvement in patient- and observer-rated quality of life. Change of severity within the variously assessed domains over time appeared to be relatively independent.


In the present sample of schizophrenia patients treatment was associated with positive health outcomes; but outcomes across assessment domains did not closely correlate across time. The scrutiny of a broad range of patient outcomes will assist with the assessment of new treatment modalities and with service planning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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