K Jaracz, K Górna, J Kiejda, B Grabowska-Fudala, J Jaracz, A Suwalska and JK Rybakowski,
European psychiatry : the journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists, Nov 2015
The aims of the study were: (1) to evaluate longitudinally symptomatic remission in first-episode (FE) schizophrenia, (2) to describe symptoms, social functioning and quality of life (Qol) in relation to remission status, and (3) to determine the long-term outcome of schizophrenia and its early predictors.Sixty-four patients were assessed 1 month after a first hospitalization (T1), 12 months (T2), 4-6 years (T3), and 7-11 years (T4) after T1. The patients were allocated to three remission groups according to their remission status over the whole observation period, e.g. stable remission (SR), unstable remission (UR) and non-remission (NR). The PANSS, Social Functioning Scale and WHOQoL were used to evaluate the patients' psychosocial functioning levels, symptomatic and functional remissions and satisfying QoL. A good outcome was defined as meeting, simultaneously, the criteria of symptomatic and functional remissions and satisfying QoL at T4, while failure to meet all of these criteria was defined as a poor outcome.Among them, 17.2% patients were in stable remission, 57.8% in unstable remission and 25.0% were unremitted at all time points. The SR group had lower levels of psychopathological symptoms and reported better social functioning and QoL than the NR group. During the follow-up, the symptoms increased, social functioning slightly improved and QoL did not change. At T4, 53% of the sample had a poor outcome, which was independently predicted by the longer duration of untreated psychosis and a lack of satisfying QoL at T1.Our results demonstrate that: (1) the long-term course in schizophrenia is heterogeneous and that three illness trajectories exist, (2) social functioning and QoL are only partially connected with symptomatic remission (3), the risk of a poor outcome may potentially be reduced by appropriate interventions at an early stage of the illness.