PMID: 7620749May 1, 1995Paper

Positive and negative symptom course in chronic community-based patients. A two-year prospective study

The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science
D M QuinlanW Glazer


The long-term symptom profile of chronic out-patients was studied. 242 out-patients receiving neuroleptic medications (109 with schizophrenia and 133 non-schizophrenics), were studied for positive (SAPS) and negative (SANS) symptoms at baseline and at 24 months to investigate whether these symptom groups changed over outpatient maintenance treatment. Overall and within groups, negative symptoms decreased and positive symptoms increased. While the sums of the SANS scores for the schizophrenic patients were initially higher, their mean SANS score dropped more over time (P < 0.001), to show no difference from non-schizophrenics at follow-up. Positive symptoms increased in both groups, although schizophrenics were higher at both times; sub-scales within the SANS showed different patterns of change. Support is found for a multidimensional view of both positive and negative symptoms and for a reconsideration of the notion of 'progressive downward course' in schizophrenia.


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