Relapse and its predictors were examined among patients with schizophrenia in the year after hospital discharge.
The sample included 200 patients with schizophrenia participating in a German multicenter study. Relapse was defined as a worsening of psychopathological symptoms or rehospitalization in the year after hospital discharge. Predictors examined were variables related to course of illness and to response and remission at discharge.
Fifty-two percent of participants had a relapse. Patients whose symptoms were not in remission at discharge were more likely to have a relapse, as were those who had more severe symptoms and more side effects at discharge. Those who experienced a relapse were less likely to be taking a second-generation antipsychotic at discharge, less likely to have a positive attitude toward treatment adherence, and less likely to be employed.
The high rate of relapse among patients with schizophrenia highlights the need to improve current treatment strategies. (Psychiatric Services 63:87–90, 2012)