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Schizophr Bull. 1990;16(2):293-307.

Gender and the course of schizophrenia: differences in treated outcomes.

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  • 1Central Institute of Mental Health, Dept. of Psychiatric Sociology, Mannheim, Federal Republic of Germany.


A survey of the literature suggests that women tend to exhibit a more favorable course of schizophrenia than men. This seems to be true for a range of outcome measures, such as hospital treatment, psychopathology, and social adaptation. Due to methodological limitations, however, the empirical evidence for gender differences in outcome is not wholly consistent. In 1983, a study of first-admitted patients with DSM-III diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizophreniform disorder (n = 278) from the Greater Hannover area in the Federal Republic of Germany followed patients for an average of 3 years. The present study has followed these patients for an average of 8 years. When confounding factors (e.g., age and marital status) were controlled for, schizophrenic women showed a better course of hospital treatment, experienced a shorter length of hospital stay, and survived longer in the community after their first hospital admission. Only the number of hospitalizations did not differ significantly between the sexes in the present study in contrast to the original study.

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