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Br J Psychiatry Suppl. 2007 Aug;50:s71-7.

Schizophrenia outcome measures in the wider international community.

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Community, Culture and Mental Health Unit, School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Fremantle, Australia.



Outcome of schizophrenia has been described as favourable in low- and middle-income countries. Recently, researchers have questioned these findings.


To examine the outcome studies carried out in different countries specifically looking at those from low- and middle-income countries.


Long-term course and outcome studies in schizophrenia were reviewed.


A wide variety of outcome measures are used. The most frequent are clinical symptoms, hospitalisation and mortality (direct indicators), and social/occupational functioning, marriage, social support and burden of care (indirect indicators). Areas such as cognitive function, duration of untreated psychosis, quality of life and effect of medication have not been widely studied in low- and middle-income countries.


The outcome of schizophrenia appears to be better in low- and middle-income countries. A host of sociocultural factors have been cited as contributing to this but future research should aim to understand this better outcome. There is a need for more culture-specific instruments to measure outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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