Symptomatic remission in psychosis and real-life functioning.
ABSTRACT In 2005 Andreasen proposed criteria for remission in schizophrenia. It is unclear whether these criteria reflect symptom reduction and improved social functioning in daily life.
To investigate whether criteria for symptomatic remission reflect symptom reduction and improved functioning in real life, comparing patients meeting remission criteria, patients not meeting these criteria and healthy controls.
The Experience Sampling Method (ESM), a structured diary technique, was used to explore real-life symptoms and functioning in 177 patients with (remitted and non-remitted) schizophrenia spectrum disorders and 148 controls.
Of 177 patients, 70 met criteria for symptomatic remission. These patients reported significantly fewer positive and negative symptoms and better mood states compared with patients not in remission. Furthermore, patients in remission spent more time in goal-directed activities and had less preference for being alone when they were with others. However, the patient groups did not differ on time spent in social company and doing nothing, and both the remission and non-remission groups had lower scores on functional outcome measures compared with the control group.
The study provides an ecological validation for the symptomatic remission criteria, showing that patients who met the criteria reported fewer positive symptoms, better mood states and partial recovery of reward experience compared with those not in remission. However, remission status was not related to functional recovery, suggesting that the current focus on symptomatic remission may reflect an overly restricted goal.
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ABSTRACT: Impairment in psychosocial functioning is a key feature in schizophrenia, but few studies have examined the relationship between improvements in symptoms and functioning. We examined the relationship between change in symptoms and change in functioning in a group of patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia after 6 and 12 weeks of clozapine treatment. Participants were assessed prior to clozapine and again at 6 and 12-week on the 18-item Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Social and Occupational Functioning Scale (SOFAS). Change scores in BPRS and SOFAS at 6 and 12-week post clozapine were calculated and the direct relationship was assessed via regression models. Forty-three participants were included in this study; age of sample was 42.1±12.7 years, with 31 (72.1%) male participants. At baseline, the mean BPRS total and SOFAS scores were 46.98±12.86 and 33.07±10.79, respectively. There were significant improvements in BPRS total and SOFAS scores at 6 weeks, but no significant differences between 6 and 12-week assessments. There was no significant change in negative symptoms at both follow-up assessments. At 6-week, change in symptoms was not correlated with change in functioning and while the relationship between change in symptoms and functioning was stronger at 12 weeks, none of the BPRS factors emerged as a significant predictor. The present study found that lower baseline SOFAS score was the most robust predictor for improvements in SOFAS at 6 and 12-weeks. There appears to be a “ceiling” for functional improvements on clozapine, but follow-up studies are needed to examine functional gains beyond 12 weeks.European Neuropsychopharmacology 10/2014; · 5.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Routine Outcome Monitoring (ROM) is used as a means to enrich the process of treatment with feedback on patient outcomes, facilitating patient involvement and shared decision making. While traditional ROM measures focus on retrospective accounts of symptoms, novel mHealth technology makes it possible to collect real life, in-the-moment ambulatory data that allow for an ecologically valid assessment of personalized and contextualized emotional and behavioural adjustment in the flow daily life (mROM). In a sample of 34 patients with major depressive disorder, treated with antidepressants, the combined effect of treatment and natural course was examined over a period of 18 weeks with Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA). EMA consisted of repeated, within-subject, mini-measurements of experience (eg positive affect, negative affect, medication side effects) and context (eg stressors, situations, activities) at 10 unselected semi-random moments per day, for a period of six days, repeated three times over the 18-week period (baseline, week 6 and week 18). EMA measures of emotional and behavioural adjustment were sensitive to the effects of treatment and natural course over the 18-week period, particularly EMA measures focussing on positive mood states and the ability to use natural rewards (impact of positive events on positive mood states), with standardized effect sizes of 0.4-0.5. EMA measures of activities, social interaction, stress-sensitivity and negative mood states were also sensitive to change over time. This study supports the use of mROM as a means to involve the patient in the process of needs assessment and treatment. EMA data are meaningful to the patient, as they reflect daily life circumstances. Assessment of treatment response with mROM data allows for an interpretation of the effect of treatment at the level of daily life emotional and social adjustment - as an index of health, obviating the need for an exclusive focus on traditional measures of 'sickness'.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115254. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Impairment in community functioning is characteristic of many individuals with schizophrenia. Despite a wealth of literature documenting such functional impairments, how patients spend their time on a daily basis and the types of activities they engage in remains less clear. The present investigation set out to examine the daily activity patterns of remitted first-episode patients with schizophrenia. Methods Twenty-eight first-episode schizophrenia patients in symptomatic remission and twenty-eight age-, gender-, and education-matched healthy comparison subjects participated in the present study. The Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) was employed to evaluate daily life activities, while the Social and Occupational Functional Assessment Scale was used to for assessment of community functioning. Psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, depressed mood using the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia, and clinical insight using the Schedule for the Assessment of Insight. Neurocognition was also evaluated with the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia. Results First-episode schizophrenia patients experienced marked impairment in functioning, despite being in symptomatic remission. Patients and controls did not differ in the number of activities reported throughout their day. However, first-episode schizophrenia patients had significantly shorter days than comparison subjects and spent significantly less time engaged in non-passive (i.e., effortful) activities, which was related to poorer functional status. Conclusions Individuals with first-episode schizophrenia and in symptomatic remission demonstrate decreased levels of non-passive activities and poorer functional outcomes. A better understanding of the underlying factors is very likely critical to the development of strategies aimed at enhancing functional recovery in schizophrenia.Comprehensive psychiatry 07/2014; · 2.08 Impact Factor