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. 01/2014;
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ABSTRACT: This study aims to compare severity criteria defined by the Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group (RSWGcr) with other criteria in relation to functional and neurocognitive outcome. 112 chronic psychotic outpatients were examined. Symptomatic remission according to RSWGcr was compared with the outcome achieved using criteria based on PANSS Positive and Negative Scales (PANSS-PNScr) and the entire PANSS (PANNS-TScr). Remission rates were 50%, 35% and 23% respectively at RSWGcr, PANSS-PNScr and PANNS-TScr; functional remission rates were 32%, 42% and 54%. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive value and ROC analysis demonstrated the superiority of PANSS-PNScr in identifying patients with higher functional and cognitive outcomes. Regression analysis showed a significant predictive effect of PANSS-TScr on functioning. General linear model analyses demonstrated significantly higher mean scores at PSP and BACS for patients remitted according to PANSS-TScr. The use of more restrictive severity criteria of remission seems to be associated with improved identification of truly remitted patients.BMC Psychiatry 01/2013; 13:1-10. · 2.23 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