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Journal article

Age at onset and cognition in schizophrenia: meta-analysis

Authors:
RAJJI T.K., ISMAIL Z., MULSANT B.H.
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 195(4), October 2009, pp.12-14.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

This study aimed to compare cognitive deficits in individuals with youth-onset and late-onset schizophrenia with those in adults with first-episode schizophrenia. Publications selected from a literature search of 29 databases from 1980 to 2008 had to include a healthy control group and analyse individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia or a related disorder and individuals with first-episode, youth-onset or late-onset schizophrenia separately. Data were extracted and cognitive data was aggregated into 22 cognitive measures. The conclusions were that individuals with youth-onset schizophrenia have severe cognitive deficits, whereas those with late-onset schizophrenia have some relatively preserved cognitive functions. This supports the view that severity of the disease process is associated with different ages at onset. In addition, the cognitive pattern of people with late onset schizophrenia suggests that their deficits are specific rather than solely as a result of ageing and related factors. Longitudinal and controlled studies will be necessary to address questions of specific deficits versus preserved cognitive functions and to advance understanding of the relationship between the disease process underlying schizophrenia, cognition, age at onset, duration of illness, ageing and associated factors.

Journal article Full text available online for free

The role of shame in people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia

Authors:
KEEN Nadine, et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 56(2), 2017, pp.115-129.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Objectives: To examine the role of shame and its relationship to depression in schizophrenia. It was predicted that individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia would exhibit higher levels of shame due to the stigma associated with their diagnosis, independently of depression levels, compared with psychiatric and medical control groups. Design: Cross-sectional design with three groups: individuals with a diagnosis of (1) schizophrenia, (2) depression, and (3) rheumatoid arthritis. Methods: Sixty individuals participated in the study (20 per group). Groups were compared on questionnaires assessing external shame, trait shame and guilt, and depression. Results: The pattern of group differences depended on the type of shame measure used. Both the schizophrenia and depression groups exhibited higher levels of external shame, or seeing others as shaming, than the medical group. For individuals with schizophrenia, seeing others as shaming was associated with higher levels of depression, a relationship not found in either control group. They also showed lower levels of trait guilt and shame (at trend level), compared with both control groups. No difference was found between the groups on depression, suggesting that the observed differences were not attributable to differences in levels of depression. Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of shame in schizophrenia, especially the link between seeing other people as shaming and depression, which was unique to this group. These results suggest that stigma associated with a diagnosis of mental illness, and schizophrenia in particular, has negative emotional consequences that may impede recovery, and should be addressed by psychological and social interventions. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Patterns and predictors of changes in substance use in individuals with schizophrenia and affective disorders

Authors:
BENNETT Melanie E., et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 8(1), January 2012, pp.2-12.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

Involving 240 participants recruited from outpatient mental health treatment centres who were assessed 5 times over 12 months, this US study looked at cocaine use in individuals with schizophrenia and affective disorders. It examined patterns of cocaine use over time, baseline predictors of continued cocaine use over one year, and predictors of transitions into and out of drug use and treatment. The article describes the participants, the measures used, data analysis and study results. Overall, the researchers found that rates and intensity of cocaine use did not change over the year, but a number of baseline variables were found to predict a decreased likelihood of cocaine use and transitions into and out of outpatient substance abuse treatment. They discuss the study results and report that the findings illustrate how drug use may show a cyclical pattern for those with serious mental illness, in which more severe use is followed by decreased use over time.

Journal article

Biogenetic explanations and public acceptance of mental illness: systematic review of population studies

Authors:
ANGERMEYER Matthias C., et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 199(5), November 2011, pp.367-372.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

It is widely believed that biological or genetic models of mental illness will increase tolerance towards people with mental illness by countering perceptions of responsibility and blame. This review examined this hypothesis among the general public; whether such attributions are related to lower perceptions of guilt and responsibility, to what extent notions of responsibility are associated with rejection of people who are mentally ill, and how prevalent notions of responsibility are among the general public with regard to different mental disorders. Thirty three representative population studies examining attitudes towards people with mental illness and beliefs about such disorders were included in a systematic analysis. Generally, biogenetic causal attributions were not associated with more tolerant attitudes and they were related to stronger rejection in most studies examining schizophrenia. No published study reported on associations of biogenetic causal attributions and perceived responsibility. The stereotype of self-responsibility was unrelated to rejection in most studies. Public images of mental disorder are generally dominated by the stereotypes of unpredictability and dangerousness; responsibility was less relevant. The authors conclude that biogenetic causal models are an inappropriate means of reducing rejection of people with mental illness.

Journal article

Physical activity and mental health: reflections from research and implications for practice

Author:
HOLLEY Jess
Journal article citation:
Mental Health Today, February 2011, pp.31-33.
Publisher:
Pavilion
Place of publication:
Hove

The benefits of physical activity for people with schizophrenia are discussed. Recent research evidence is highlighted and recommendations are made for practice.

Journal article Full text available online for free

A traumatic life brought to book

Author:
SALE Anabel Unity
Journal article citation:
Community Care, 25.9.08, 2008, pp.28-29.
Publisher:
Reed Business Information

Social worker Philip Hill's life story was so extraordinary that his psychiatrist urged him to complete his autobiography.  The book details his story from being taken into care, being misdiagnosed as having learning disabilities as a child and experiencing two breakdowns and paranoid schizophrenia, to becoming a social worker. In this article Philip talks to the author about his experiences.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Predictors of later schizophrenia and affective psychosis among attendees at a child psychiatry department

Authors:
CANNON Mary, et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 178, May 2001, pp.420-426.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

Schizophrenia has been linked with psychological problems in childhood but there is little information on precursors of affective psychosis. Childhood item sheets, which give standardised information on signs and symptoms of mental illness in the year preceding assessment are completed for all attendees at the children's department of the Maudsley and Bethlem Royal Hospital. The authors examined item sheet data on individuals with an adult diagnosis of schizophrenia or affective psychosis and a comparison group with no adult mental illness. Finds that abnormal suspiciousness or sensitivity and relationship difficulties with peers are associated with later schizophrenia. In contrast, affective psychosis is associated with childhood hysterical symptoms and disturbances in eating. Concludes that childhood psychological precursors for schizophrenia and affective psychosis differ and do not simply reflect non-specific psychiatric disturbance in adolescence.

Book

Schizophrenia

Author:
ROYAL COLLEGE OF PSYCHIATRISTS
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Publication year:
1999
Pagination:
10p.
Place of publication:
London

Part of a series of booklets describing a range of mental health problems, aiming to make people more understanding of what these are and of the people who suffer from them. This pamphlet looks at Schizophrenia.

Journal article

Premorbid adjustment and personality in people with schizophrenia

Authors:
MALMBERG A., et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 172, April 1998, pp.308-313.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

Discusses how schizoid personality and poor social adjustment have been thought of as common antecedents of schizophrenia but the existing literature is inconclusive. Describes a cohort study of the premorbid personality and adjustment of Swedish men who were assessed on entry into the army. Individuals who developed schizophrenia or another psychosis after 15-year follow up were identified. Concludes that some aspects of premorbid personality and adjustment may act as risk factors for schizophrenia. The results appear to be most consistent with a multi-factorial aetiology for schizophrenia and offer tentative support for psychological disturbance mediating genetic and environmental effects on the causal pathway to the illness.

Book

Towards a sociology of schizophrenia: humanistic reflections

Author:
DOUBT Keith
Publisher:
University of Toronto Press
Publication year:
1996
Pagination:
136p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
Toronto

Presents a way of understanding not only what Schizophrenia is, but society's reactions to it.

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