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Schizophr Bull. 1997;23(2):287-303.

Course and outcome for schizophrenia versus other psychotic patients: a longitudinal study.

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Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago 60612-7327, USA.


We studied 276 patients longitudinally, beginning at the acute phase and continuing at three successive followups over 7.5 years, comparing 74 schizophrenia patients with 74 other psychotic patients and 128 nonpsychotic patients on early course and outcome. Schizophrenia patients showed significantly poorer functioning than patients with other psychotic disorders at each of the three followups (p < 0.05). More schizophrenia patients than other psychotic patients showed consistent psychopathology and a course in which there was not complete remission at any of the three followups (p < 0.05). Most schizophrenia patients did not show severe decrements in social activity level. Poor outcome schizophrenia patients showed significantly slower recovery at each followup than did other psychotic patients with initial poor outcomes (p < 0.01). The results indicate that, during the early course, schizophrenia patients still show relatively poor outcomes, although a small number of schizophrenia patients enter into complete remission. Over time, many schizophrenia patients fluctuate between severe disability and moderate disability rather than always showing severe disability. Schizophrenia patients tend to recover more slowly then other psychotic patients. Differences between schizophrenia patients and other psychotic patients in clinical course over time may be larger than differences at any single followup.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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