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Clinical Correlates of Remission in Acute Exacerbated Patients with Schizophrenia

Jung-Chi Chang, Chen-Chung Liu, Hai-Gwo Hwu, Yi-Ting Lin,Ming H. Hsieh, Tzung-Jeng Hwang, Chih-Min Liu

Background: The Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group (RSWG) proposed a set of criteria for remission in patients with schizophrenia. But it is unclear whether these criteria apply to the Taiwan population when assessing rates of remission or when evaluating the clinical correlates of remission and the stability of remission in patients with schizophrenia. Methods: Subjects in this prospective five-year follow-up study comprised 164 inpatients with schizophrenia who were being treated at three hospitals in northern Taiwan. We gathered data of sociodemographic factors and baseline clinical profiles at the time of index admission. Severity of psychiatric symptoms was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) regularly. Remission status was defined according to RSWG criteria. Differences in demographic data, clinical profiles and severity of psychiatric symptoms between achievers and non-achievers of remission were evaluated using logistic regression. Results: Of the 164 inpatients recruited in the study, 34 (20.73%) fulfilled the RSWG criteria for remission. PANSS scores among patients who achieved remission of psychotic symptoms were significantly lower at all follow-up period (p < 0.05). In addition, functional scores were consistently significantly higher among patients in the remission subgroup. Regression analysis revealed that older age at onset (p < 0.01), higher educational level (p < 0.05) and lower severity of negative symptoms (p < 0.05) at index admission were significant predictors of remission of psychotic exacerbations. Conclusion: The remitted and unremitted subgroups remained rather stable and also validated in functional status. Further research is warranted to explore other outcome dimensions that might contribute to remission in schizophrenia including cognitive deficits and brain imaging studies.
Key Word schizophrenia, remission, predictor, stability
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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