Depression in the long-term course of schizophrenia

An der Heiden, Wolfram; K�nnecke, Regina; Maurer, Kurt; Ropeter, Daniel; H�fner, Heinz
June 2005
European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience;2005, Vol. 255 Issue 3, p174
Academic Journal
Depressive symptoms are quantitatively and qualitatively among the most important characteristics of schizophrenia. The following contribution reports on the prevalence of depression in 107 patients of the ABC schizophrenia study over 12 years after first hospital admission, looks into a preponderance of depression at certain stages of the illness and the predictive value of depressive symptoms for course and outcome. All but one of the 107 patients experienced one to 10 episodes of depressed mood between index assessment and long-term follow-up. In any month of the observation period about 30�35% of the patients presented at least one symptom of the depressive core syndrome (depressive mood, loss of pleasure, loss of interests, loss of self-confidence, feelings of guilt, suicidal thoughts/suicide attempt). Depressive symptoms are particularly frequent during a psychotic episode at a rate of approximately 50%. There were moderate but statistically significant correlations between the amount of depressive symptoms during a psychotic episode and the frequency of relapses, defined by hospital admissions as well as the total length of inpatient treatment. Depression occurring in the interval was not associated with an increased need for inpatient treatment.


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