[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One hundred and four male patients hospitalized for the first time with the diagnosis of first-episode schizophrenia were comprehensively assessed on admission and discharge. Psychopathology, treatment response, and remission rates were evaluated (based on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), severity of symptoms only). On admission, the most frequently observed symptoms were lack of judgment and insight (87.6%), suspiciousness/feelings of persecution (82.3%), delusions (77%), poor attention (70%), disturbance of volition (65.4%), conceptual disorganization (64.7%), and active social avoidance (64%). Except for delusions and hallucinations, the positive items of the PANSS correlated significantly with negative symptoms, and conceptual disorganization correlated with the greatest number of negative symptoms. Individual negative symptoms were present in about half the patients. At discharge, the most frequent symptoms were again lack of judgment and insight (in 55.7%), and for negative symptoms they were blunted affect (22.1%), emotional withdrawal (21.2%), and passive/apathetic social withdrawal (19.5%). The positive symptoms of suspiciousness/feelings of persecution and grandiosity persisted in 20.6% of patients. On average, all symptoms were significantly reduced 44 days after admission. The negative symptoms improved less, compared with the positive ones. At discharge there was a high rate of responders (response defined as minimal 30% reduction of total PANSS): 73% and 74% of patients fulfilled the criteria for remission. On admission, the responders (n = 76) had significantly higher scores of most symptoms, both positive and negative ones than nonresponders (n = 28).
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 07/2005; 1(2):179-85. · 2.00 Impact Factor