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Psychiatry. 1990 May;53(2):127-39.

Fully recovered schizophrenics: a retrospective study of some premorbid and treatment factors.

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Institute of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway.


The present study is an exploratory, retrospective examination of 10 schizophrenics who have fully recovered. The subjects were recruited through an inquiry to approximately 100 clinical psychologists and psychiatrists working in two mental hospitals in the Oslo area. These (previous) patients did not fulfill the criteria of a schizophrenia diagnosis at the time but had done so earlier. Further, they had not been admitted to a mental hospital during the last 3 years, had psychosocial functioning that could be called "normal, or nearly normal," and were not on neuroleptic drugs or were on only a low-dose level. The principal questions that were asked were: Do schizophrenics who fully recover have anything in common with respect to premorbid adjustment, family interaction, hospitalization, or treatment? Further, is psychotherapy an absolute precondition for full recovery? These questions were examined using a semistructured interview. The results showed that the age of debut of illness averaged 20 years and most of the patients had a fairly good premorbid psychosocial adjustment. Problematic nurturance during childhood was a factor in many of the interviews. Eight patients had been in psychotherapy and attached great importance to it. Religious belief and psychological support from the spouse were also considered important for recovery. The sample includes three "star cases," one of which is presented thoroughly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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