Effects of age of onset on clinical characteristics in schizophrenia spectrum disorders

Yu-Chen Kao; Yia-Ping Liu
January 2010
BMC Psychiatry;2010, Vol. 10, p63
Academic Journal
Background: Over the last few decades, research regarding the age of onset of schizophrenia and its relationship with other clinical variables has been incorporated into clinical practices. However, reports of potential differences in demographic and clinical characteristics between early- and adult-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders have been controversial. Thus, this study aims to assess differences in demographic and clinical characteristics correlated with age of illness onset in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Methods: Data were collected from 104 patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Diagnosis was made via structured clinical interviews. Assessments of psychiatric symptoms and social and global functioning were completed. The effect of age of onset on demographic and clinical variables was examined using correlation analyses and binary logistic regression models. We chose 17 years of age as the cut-off for early-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders based on a recent clinical consensus. We further investigated differences in the severity of psychopathology and other clinical variables between the early- and adult-onset groups. Results: The binary logistic regression analysis showed that age of onset was significantly related to the cognitive component of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) (odds ratio, OR = 0.58; 95% confidence interval, CI = 0.872-0.985; p < 0.001) and Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS) score (OR = 0.94; 95% CI = 0.447-0.744; p = 0.015). Patients with early onset of schizophrenia spectrum disorders had significantly greater levels of cognitive impairment and higher impulsivity. There were significant differences between several demographic and clinical variables, including the negative symptom component of the PANSS (p < 0.001), cognitive component of the PANSS (p < 0.001), BIS score (p = 0.05), and psychological domain of quality of life (QOL) (p = 0.05), between patients with early- and adult-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders, having controlled for the effect of the current age and duration of illness. Conclusions: Our findings support the hypothesis of an influence of age of onset on illness course in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. This finding may in fact be part of a separate domain worthy of investigation for the development of interventions for early symptoms of schizophrenia.


Related Articles

  • Acute and transient psychotic disorders (ICD-10 F23): a review from a European perspective. Castagnini, Augusto; Berrios, German E. // European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience;Dec2009, Vol. 259 Issue 8, p433 

    The tenth revision of the International Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders (ICD-10) introduced the category F23 ‘Acute and transient psychotic disorders’ (ATPD) to incorporate clinical concepts such as the French bouffée délirante, cycloid psychosis (Germany),...

  • Assessment of functioning in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder with the Mini-ICF-APP: a validation study in Italy. Pinna, Federica; Fiorillo, Andrea; Tusconi, Massimo; Guiso, Beatrice; Carpiniello, Bernardo // International Journal of Mental Health Systems;10/31/2015, Vol. 7, p1 

    Background: The aim of the study was to evaluate validity of the Italian Mini-ICF-APP (Mini-ICF Rating for Limitations of Activities and Participation in Psychological Disorders) in schizophrenia and related disorders. Methods: 74 outpatients affected by schizophrenia or schizoaffective...

  • The Distinction Between the Affective Psychoses and Schizophrenia. Brockington, I. F.; Kendell, R. E.; Wainwright, S.; Hillier, V. F.; Walker, J. // British Journal of Psychiatry;Sep79, Vol. 135, p243 

    In an attempt to demonstrate a valid boundary between schizophrenia and the affective psychoses, discriminant function analyses have been carried out with history, mental state and follow-up data in two populations of patients. A bimodal distribution of discriminant scores was obtained in one of...

  • Schizophrenics with Delusions of Poisoning. Varsamis, J.; Adamson, J. D.; Sigurdson, W. F. // British Journal of Psychiatry;Dec72, Vol. 121 Issue 565, p673 

    The article focuses on the phenomenological differences between schizophrenics with delusions of poisoning and schizophrenics without such delusions. Under the study, sixty patients suffering from schizophrenia, with age ranging from 16 to 62, were examined and were divided into two groups. The...

  • Prevalence of Schizophrenia in an Urban Population. Freeman, H.; Alpert, M. // British Journal of Psychiatry;Nov86, Vol. 149, p603 

    The treated one-year prevalence and point-prevalence of schizophrenia, schizoaffective psychosis, and paranoid state in the city of Salford were derived from the Salford Psychiatric Case Register. The high rates found are attributed primarily to the effects of selective migration from the area....

  • Langfeldt's Schizophreniform Psychoses Fifty Years Later. Mina Bergem, A. L.; Dahl, Alv A.; Guldberg, Cato; Hansen, Helge // British Journal of Psychiatry;Sep90, Vol. 157, p351 

    As a result of follow-up studies published in 1937 and 1939, Langfeldt divided schizophrenia into two groups; 'typical schizophrenia' which had a poor outcome, and the 'schizophreniform psychoses' which had a less typical clinical picture of schizophrenia and a good outcome. Langfeldt's cases of...

  • A Family Study of Two Subgroups of Schizoaffective Patients. Maj, Mario // British Journal of Psychiatry;May89, Vol. 154, p640 

    A family study was carried out in two groups of patients fulfilling RDC for schizoaffective disorder: in one, a full affective and a full schizophrenic syndrome were simultaneously present; in the other, affective and schizophrenic features appeared within a polymorphic and rapidly changing...

  • Distribution of symptom dimensions across Kraepelinian divisions. Dikeos, Dimitris G.; Wickham, Harvey; McDonald, Colm; Walshe, Muriel; Sigmundsson, Thordur; Bramon, Elvira; Grech, Anton; Toulopoulou, Timothea; Murray, Robin; Sham, Pak C. // British Journal of Psychiatry;Oct2006, Vol. 189, p346 

    Background: Dimensional structures are established for many psychiatric diagnoses, but dimensions have not been compared between diagnostic groups.Aims: To examine the structure of dimensions in psychosis, to analyse their correlations with disease characteristics and...

  • Identical Twins Concordant for the Progression of Affective Illness to Schizophrenia. Kendler, Kenneth S.; Tsuang, Ming T. // British Journal of Psychiatry;Dec82, Vol. 141, p563 

    A pair of identical twins for whom long-term follow-up information was available progressed concordantly from typical `affective illness' to process schizophrenia. We discuss a possible genetic basis for a certain form of schizophrenia which may present typical affective features in the initial...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics