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ISSN: 1935-1232 (P)

ISSN: 1941-2010 (E)

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Abstract

Clinico-Epidemiological Comparison of Delusion-Prominent and HallucinationProminent Clinical Subgroups of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Author(s): Anatoly Kreinin, Vladimir Krishtul, Zvi Kirsh, Michael Menuchin

Background: Though hallucinations and delusions are prominent basic impairments in schizophrenia, reports of the relationship between hallucinatory and delusional symptoms among schizophrenia patients are scant. Aims: To examine the epidemiological and clinical differences between mainly hallucinatory and mainly delusional subgroups of paranoid schizophrenia patients. Methods: One hundred schizophrenia patients, paranoid type, were recruited. In a cross-sectional study, participants were divided into Mainly Hallucinatory (H) and Mainly Delusional (D) subgroups. Demographic variables were compared and clinical characteristics were evaluated using the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms, the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms, and the Clinical Global Impression Scale. The Quality-of-Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire-18 was used to assess quality of life. Results: Clinically, the H group was more heterogeneous as expressed by the broader range of scores that described the clinical picture of patients in that subgroup (in 43 of 78 variables, 55.13%) and similar ranges of scores (31 of 78 variables, 39.74%) for patients in the D group. Duration of hospitalization was significantly longer in group H than in group D (p=0.047). There was no statistically significant difference between the H and D subgroups in demographic characteristics. Conclusions: There are distinct epidemiological and clinical differences between the H and D subgroups, with more severe positive and negative symptoms and greater functional impairment in the H group. Paranoid schizophrenia patients with prominent hallucinations have poorer prognosis and need intensive therapeutic rehabilitation beginning with onset-of-illness. Further genetic studies and comparisons of fMRI and/or PET findings are warranted to investigate additional distinctive characteristics of these subgroups.