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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2009 Mar;119(3):209-17. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01299.x. Epub 2008 Nov 24.

Prospective comparison of course of disability in antipsychotic-treated and untreated schizophrenia patients.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, India. jagatth@yahoo.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the course of disability in schizophrenia patients receiving antipsychotics and those remaining untreated in a rural community.

METHOD:

Of 215 schizophrenia patients identified in a rural south Indian community, 58% were not receiving antipsychotics. Trained raters assessed the disability in 190 of these at baseline and after 1 year. The course of disability in those who remained untreated was compared with that in those who received antipsychotics.

RESULTS:

Mean disability scores remained virtually unchanged in those who remained untreated, but showed a significant decline (indicating decrement in disability) in those who continued to receive antipsychotics and in those in whom antipsychotic treatment was initiated (P < 0.001; group x occasion effect). The proportion of patients classified as 'disabled' declined significantly in the treated group (P < 0.01), but remained the same in the untreated group.

CONCLUSION:

Disability in untreated schizophrenia patients remains unchanged over time. Treatment with antipsychotics in the community results in a considerable reduction in disability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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