Recovery From Schizophrenic Psychoses Within the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort
J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66(3):375-383
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: Because of widely disparate findings
from follow-up studies, the likelihood of recovery from
schizophrenia remains controversial. We report the extent of
recovery from schizophrenia in a population-based cohort.
Method: Subjects with psychotic disorders were
recruited from the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort. Of the 91
subjects who agreed to participate, 59 were diagnosed with
schizophrenia and 12 were diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum
disorders (schizophreniform psychosis, schizoaffective or
delusional disorder) by DSM-III-R criteria. Diagnoses were
established by interviewing the subjects, checking the Finnish
Hospital Discharge Register, and reviewing their medical records.
To assess recovery, we used the Clinical Global Impressions; the
Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale; the Social and Occupational
Functioning Assessment Scale; and information about psychiatric
hospitalizations, use of antipsychotic medication, and
Results: Only 1 subject (1.7%) with DSM-III-R
schizophrenia and 3 subjects (25%) with schizophrenia spectrum
disorders fully recovered; 1 schizophrenia subject (1.7%) and 2
schizophrenia spectrum subjects (16.7%) experienced partial
Conclusion: The data indicate that, at least
until age 35, complete recovery from schizophrenia is rare, and
the prognosis for the disorder is far more serious than suggested
by some follow-up studies.