Is depressed mood clinically relevant at the onset of schizophrenia? A longitudinal study.
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Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale di Parma
Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia
Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria di Parma
Submission date: 2022-08-13
Final revision date: 2022-11-25
Acceptance date: 2022-12-22
Publication date: 2023-06-22
Corresponding author
Lorenzo Pelizza   

Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale di Parma
Arch Psych Psych 2023;25(2):15-24
Article (PDF)
Aim of the study:
The aims of this investigation were: (1) to calculate baseline prevalence of FES patients with relevant depressed mood (DM), (2) to longitudinally monitor DM levels over a 12-month follow-up, and (3) to investigate their associations with clinical data and the specific treatment components of an “Early Intervention in Psychosis” (EIP) program.

Subject or material and methods:
The Positive And Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was completed by all FES participant. Individuals with a baseline PANSS “Depression” item subscore of ≥ 5 were classified as having relevant depressed mood (FES/DM+). Chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests were used for inter-group comparisons. A linear regression analysis was also performed.

Fifty-three (33.3%) participants were in the FES/DM+ subgroup. Relevant baseline DM at baseline was associated with female gender and a higher PANSS “Positive Symptoms” score. Across the follow-up, FES individuals improved their DM levels. This was significantly related to a longitudinal decrease in PANSS “Positive Symptoms” levels.

More than 1/3 of FES subjects had relevant DM already at the recruitment time in an EIP service. This suggests that relevant depression in FES subjects is usually under-treated. Moreover, we observed a significant decrease in DM severity levels across the follow-up. This decrease was associated with the longitudinal severity reduction in positive symptom levels, reflecting their state-related fluctuations.

DM is relatively frequent in FES, already at the recruitment in EIP services. However, its severity decreases overtime within specialized EIP programs.

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