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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;54(2):101-11.

Psychopathology of schizophrenia in Ljubljana (Slovenia) from 1881 to 2000: changes in the content of delusions in schizophrenia patients related to various sociopolitical, technical and scientific changes.

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  • 1University Psychiatric Hospital, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.



Clinical observations and research have found the content of delusions in schizophrenia to be sensitive to sociopolitical and cultural factors.


The aim of this retrospective case-note study was to determine changes in the frequencies of various contents of delusions in schizophrenia patients over time.


A total of 120 records of first-time admission schizophrenia patient at Ljubljana's psychiatric hospital in the period from 1881 to 2000 were randomly selected. Information was taken from each record to fill out a form specially created for this study. The frequencies of delusions with regard to their content in various time spans were compared.


A marked increase in two delusional themes--persecution and self-reference--was found after the change of political regime (1941-2000) in Slovenia. After the spread of radio in the 1920s and television in the 1950s in Slovenia, there was an obvious increase in delusions of outside influence and control as well as delusions with technical themes. A striking increase in the percentage of Schneiderian first-rank symptoms was found after the spread of Schneider's ideas in the 1950s.


Sociopolitical changes and scientific and technical developments have a marked influence on the delusional content in schizophrenia.

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