Apathy, poor verbal memory and male gender predict lower psychosocial functioning one year after the first treatment of psychosis

Oslo University Hospital, Ulleval, 0407 Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: .
Psychiatry research 03/2013; 210(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2013.02.007
Source: PubMed


BACKGROUND: Apathy is a negative symptom associated with poor psychosocial functioning in schizophrenia but has not been sufficiently studied as predictor of poor functioning in first episode psychosis (FEP). OBJECTIVE: The main aim of the current study was to evaluate if apathy predicts poor functioning after 1 year in FEP patients in the context of other clinical variables with influence on outcome. METHOD: Sixty-four FEP patients completed an extensive clinical and neuro-psychological test battery at baseline and 1-year follow-up. Symptoms were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome scale (PANSS), apathy with the shortened Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES-C-12) and psychosocial functioning with the functioning score from the split version of the Global Assessment of Functioning scale (GAF-F). RESULTS: High levels of apathy, poor verbal memory and being male were the baseline variables that best predicted poor functioning at 1-year follow-up, explaining 34% of the variance in GAF-F. When PANSS negative factor was included in the analysis, the significance of AES-C-12 diminished. CONCLUSION: These findings points to a robust role for apathy among the negative symptoms in the development of persisting psychosocial dysfunction in FEP and supports the current effort in targeting motivation to improve functioning.

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Available from: Svein Friis, Jun 06, 2014
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