Article

Relapse criteria in schizophrenic disorders: different perspectives

Leiden University, Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.68). 01/1995; 54(3):273-81. DOI: 10.1016/0165-1781(94)90021-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Relapse and exacerbation of psychotic symptoms were investigated in a prospective study of 88 patients with recent-onset schizophrenia and related disorders. Relapse definitions were derived from expressed emotion and family intervention studies and based on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Present State Examination, and clinical judgment. Results indicate that research and clinical criteria represent different perspectives on relapse. Clinical criteria provide a validity check that can verify BPRS-rated changes in partially remitted patients.

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The booklet included the 30 PANSS symptoms listed with their definitions. Among this symptom list, clinicians were instructed to select the ten criteria which they estimated best defined the acute state, followed by the ten most important target symptoms to be treated. Out of 2,369 questionnaires, 1,584 were collected on time (66.9%). Among the six majors indicators proposed to define acute state 75% of psychiatrists considered 1 to 3 criteria. Three were more frequently rated, including core schizophrenic symptomatology disturbance (68.4%), general schizophrenic symptomatology disturbance (68.0%) and suicidal behavior (64.9%). The other criteria were rated as follows: need for hospitalization (26.8%), significant change in care (18.3%), and disturbance in social behavior (29.1%). For 53.2% of psychiatrists the definition of acute state requires the presence of specific schizophrenic symptomatology for a minimal duration of one week. 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