Symptomatic remission in psychosis and real-life functioning.

Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, PO Box 616 (VIJV), 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. .
The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science (Impact Factor: 6.62). 06/2012; 201:215-20. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.104414
Source: PubMed

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.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is recognition that biomedical research into the causes of mental disorders and their treatment needs to adopt new approaches to research. Novel biomedical techniques have advanced our understanding of how the brain develops and is shaped by behaviour and environment. This has led to the advent of stratified medicine, which translates advances in basic research by targeting aetiological mechanisms underlying mental disorder. The resulting increase in diagnostic precision and targeted treatments may provide a window of opportunity to address the large public health burden, and individual suffering associated with mental disorders. While mental health and mental disorders have significant representation in the "health, demographic change and wellbeing" challenge identified in Horizon 2020, the framework programme for research and innovation of the European Commission (2014-2020), and in national funding agencies, clear advice on a potential strategy for mental health research investment is needed. The development of such a strategy is supported by the EC-funded "Roadmap for Mental Health Research" (ROAMER) which will provide recommendations for a European mental health research strategy integrating the areas of biomedicine, psychology, public health well being, research integration and structuring, and stakeholder participation. Leading experts on biomedical research on mental disorders have provided an assessment of the state of the art in core psychopathological domains, including arousal and stress regulation, affect, cognition social processes, comorbidity and pharmacotherapy. They have identified major advances and promising methods and pointed out gaps to be addressed in order to achieve the promise of a stratified medicine for mental disorders.
    European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 10/2013; · 3.68 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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 01/2014; · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In a Norwegian ongoing longitudinal study, we investigate the neurocognitive development in first-episode schizophrenia patients, and the influence of neurocognition on remission and real life functioning. In the present study, results from the early course of illness are reported. The sample includes 28 schizophrenia spectrum patients and 28 pairwise matched healthy controls. The patients were recruited from mental health service institutions and data on psychosocial functioning, remission and neurocognition were obtained through a clinical interview, an inventory on social and role functioning, operational criteria of remission, and a standardized neurocognitive test battery, the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Large effect size differences between patients and controls were observed at baseline on every cognitive domain, as well as statistically significant improvements on overall cognitive function at follow-up for the patient group. A remission rate of 61% was found. The neurocognitive baseline measure of Attention significantly predicted remission status at follow-up, whereas Attention and Working Memory at baseline predicted levels of social and role functioning. In the early course of the illness, more than half of the group of first-episode patients were in remission, and neurocognitive functions are significantly associated with both remission of symptoms and social and role functioning.
    Psychiatry Research. 01/2014;