Symptom Subtypes in Persons Institutionalized with Schizophrenia: Comparison of Demographics, Outcome and Functional Skills


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Abstract

Traditional diagnostic systems have proven to be of limited utility in the rehabilitation of persons with schizophrenia. Using a formula based on Andreasen's concept of classifying subtypes into positive, negative, and mixed schizophrenia, the investigators retrospectively examined a group of 312 persons institutionalized with DSM III schizophrenia. Fifty-nine patients were classified into the positive symptom subtype, 33 into the negative symptom subtype, and 220 into the mixed symptom subtype. Symptom subtypes were compared on traditional demographic and outcome indicators, as well as on a dimension critical to rehabilitation, i.e., measures of degree of assistance necessary to perform functional skills. No significant differences were found among the subtypes on demographic items and traditional indicators of outcome such as level of vocational functioning or independent living. However, on measures of degree of assistance necessary to perform functional skills, significant differences were found among the symptom subtypes. The implications of these findings for psychiatric rehabilitation are discussed.

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