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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2010;12(3):393-407.

Remission in schizophrenia: validity, frequency, predictors, and patients' perspective 5 years later.

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Psychosis Centre, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Center for Psychosocial Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, German.


In March 2005, the Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group (RSWG) proposed a consensus definition of symptomatic remission in schizophrenia and developed specific operational criteria for its assessment. They pointed out, however, that the validity and the relationship to other outcome dimensions required further examination. This article reviews studies on the validity, frequency, and predictors of symptomatic remission in schizophrenia and studies on patients' perspectives. These studies have demonstrated that the RSWG remission criteria appear achievable and sustainable for a significant proportion of patients, and are related to a better overall symptomatic status and functional outcome and, to a less clear extent, to a better quality of life and cognitive performance. However, achieving symptomatic remission is not automatically concurrent with an adequate status in other outcome dimensions. The results of the present review suggest that the RSWG remission criteria are valid and useful. As such, they should be consistently applied in clinical trials. However the lack of consensus definitions of functional remission and adequate quality of life hampers research on their predictive validity on these outcome dimensions. Future research should therefore search for criteria of these dimensions and test whether the RSWG remission criteria consistently predict a "good" outcome with respect to functioning and quality of life.

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