Social functioning in first-episode schizophrenia: 1-year follow-up study
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Arch Psych Psych 2005;7(2):5–19
The aim of the study was to compare social functioning of first-admitted schizophrenic patients with healthy controls and evaluate the influence of different variables on social abilities of patients, I month after hospitalization (T1) and in I year follow-up (T2). A group of 86 schizophrenic patients: 52 male and 34 female; age 25.5; +/- 5.8 and a control group of matched 52 male and 34 female subjects were enrolled. Social Functioning Scale (SFS), Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Global Assessment Scale (GAS) and demographic questionnaire were used. In both T1 and T2 we found similar levels of SFS score in patients (T1-103.7; T2-105.5), significantly lower than in healthy controls 117.0 (range 98.6-130.1) (p<0.001). In longitudinal analysis, better pre-admission functioning was associated with improvement of Independence Performance. In cross-sectional analysis, better social functioning was associated with the female sex, higher but not academic education, activity before admission, and better functioning in pre-admission period. In regression analyses (the 5-dimensional model of schizophrenia) T1 SFS was explained by negative (39%) and 1% with hpositive symptoms. In T2 SFS only negative symptoms explained social functioning (36%). Social functioning in schizophrenia is disturbed from the onset of the disease and is influenced mainly by current negative symptoms. The protective effect of female sex, higher education and pre-admission functioning can be observed.