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Prevalence and clinical correlates of depression in the acute phase of first episode schizophrenia

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-12-20, 11:50 authored by Eric Roche, Mary Clarke, Stephen Browne, Niall Turner, Orflaith McTuige, Moaayad Kamali, Anthony Kinsella, Conall Larkin, John WaddingtonJohn Waddington, Eadbhard O'Callaghan
Background: Reported rates of depression in schizophrenia vary considerably. Objective: To measure the prevalence of depression in a first episode sample of people with schizophrenia. Methods: All referrals with a first episode of schizophrenia diagnosed using SCID interviews were assessed pre-discharge and again six months later. We used the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS) and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) to assess the severity of symptoms. Results: Pre-discharge, 10.4% of the sample met CDSS criteria for depression. According to the PANSS depression (PANSS –D) subscale, 3% of patients were depressed, with a mean score of 7.48 (SD = 2.97). Only 3% of patients pre-discharge were found to be depressed on both the CDSS and the PANSS-D. Six months later 6.5% were depressed according to the CDSS. However none reached depression criteria according to the PANSS-D. The CDSS correlated with PANSS-D both pre-discharge and at follow-up. Feelings of depression and self-deprecation were the most common symptoms at baseline and follow-up. The CDSS was unrelated to negative symptoms at both stages. A lifetime history of alcohol abuse increased the risk for depression. Conclusion: Rates of depression in this sample were low. The CDSS appears to discriminate between depression and negative symptoms. Like the general population, alcohol misuse is a risk factor for depression in first episode schizophrenia.



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Roche E, Clarke M, Browne S, Turner N, McTuige O, Kamali M, Kinsella A, Larkin C, Waddington JL, O'Callaghan E. Prevalence and clinical correlates of depression in acute phase of first episode schizophrenia. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine. 2010;27(1):15-18.

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