Prospective evaluation of the early course of schizophrenia in men and women after a first psychiatric hospitalization
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Psychiatr Pol 2008;42(1):33–46
Aim. To evaluate prospectively the course of schizophrenia in men and women after a first psychiatric hospitalization in terms of socio-vocational situation, social functioning and psychopathological status. Methods. A study sample consisted of 74 patients (46 males, 28 females), examined 1 month (T. 1), 13 months (T. 2) after a discharge, and 4-6 years after T. 1 (13). The research instruments were: a questionnaire for socio-demographic data and information about the illness course, Social Functioning Scale (SFS) and PANSS. Results. During the follow-up period, the socio-vocational situation and psychopathological status has worsened. The percentage of patients unemployed or not studying increased by 26%, whilst those receiving a disability pension by 50%. Despite of the pharmacological treatment, symptoms severity increased, particularly in the group of negative symptoms and general psychopathology (p<0.01). Social functioning showed a significant trend to improve but only in some domains. Between T. I and the last follow-up, there was an increase in total SFS and in 3 out of the 7 domains. This improvement was particularly noticeable in the group of female patients hospitalized before the age of 20 years (p<0.05). Female patients, regardless of age of their first hospitalization, scored higher in the Independence performance domain. Conclusions. (1) The early course of schizophrenia appears to be heterogeneous.,This was reflected by the deterioration of socio-vocational situation and psychopathological status, and by a variability of the changes in social functioning. (2) This heterogeneity and non-parallel changes should be taken into account when planning and evaluating therapeutic interventions. (3) The early course of schizophrenia seems to be more beneficial for female patients.