Social Disability at Admission for a First Psychosis Does Not Predict Clinical Outcome at 5-Year Follow-Up

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Although it has often been reported that premorbid social deficits are associated with clinical outcome in schizophrenia, the association between clinical outcome and social disabilities during admission for a first psychosis is still unclear. We examined whether a detailed assessment of social disability (assessed using the Groninger Social Disabilities Schedule-II) in the month before admission for a first psychotic episode contributed to the prediction of disease outcome in terms of psychopathology in 82 patients with schizophrenia. After controlling for the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale sum score at baseline, none of the social disability domains significantly predicted the number of relapses or the severity of clinical symptoms at a 5-year follow-up. Our results suggest that poor social functioning at admission does not necessarily predict poor disease outcome. Following Di Michele and Bolino (Psychopathology 37:98-104, 2004), we hypothesize that, to reliably predict the course of schizophrenia, it may be necessary to assess social functioning during clinical stabilization.

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