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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Jul 1;32(5):1287-92. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2008.04.003. Epub 2008 Apr 9.

Predictors of the course of illness in outpatients with schizophrenia: a prospective three year study.

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  • 1Sant Joan de Déu-SSM, Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, CIBER-SAM, Spain.


The course of schizophrenia includes a combination of periods of remission and relapse. Previous studies focused on simple dichotomous outcomes and did not take into account the complexity of the course. Using data from a large 3-year follow-up study of schizophrenia, we described the different courses of schizophrenia. Of the 5950 patients with complete 3-year data, 38.7% never achieved remission (prolonged course), 15.7% achieved remission but relapsed and 45.7% achieved and maintained remission (persistent remission). Females, patients with better social functioning at baseline (living independently, in paid employment, socially active or having a spouse or partner) and with a shorter duration of illness had a more favourable course. Patients prescribed risperidone, quetiapine or depot typicals at the baseline visit were more likely to have a prolonged course than patients who started olanzapine. The results show that description of the long-term outcome of schizophrenia cannot be summarized with just one outcome variable.

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