Is change over time in psychotic symptoms related to social functioning?

GROUP investigators

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Objective: In psychosis, treatment often focuses on symptom reduction whereas social functioning is also essential. In this study, we investigate positive psychotic symptoms and medication use in relation to social functioning over a 3-year time-period in 531 patients diagnosed with psychosis. Furthermore, relations of positive symptoms with needs for care and quality of life were also investigated. Method: Using repeated measures analysis, changes were measured over time. Hereafter, mixed model analyses were performed to determine the associations of social functioning, needs for care, and quality of life with psychotic symptoms and patient characteristics. Finally, we assessed differences in symptoms and medication dose between those with an increase and those with a decrease in social functioning. Results: Patients significantly improved in social functioning, while psychotic symptoms increased. Improvement in social functioning was associated with younger age, higher IQ, and lower social functioning at T1, but not with positive symptoms. Also, improvement in social functioning was found to be related to a decrease in the dose of clozapine. Improvement in social functioning occurs despite worsening of positive symptoms. Conclusions: The findings suggest the need to further explore the relation between symptomatology, social functioning, and medication use. In the treatment of psychotic disorders, one should reconsider the strong focus on reducing psychotic symptoms. The current focus needs to shift much more toward improving functional outcome, especially when the patient expresses a desire for change in this respect.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The infrastructure for the GROUP study is funded through the Geestkracht programme of the Dutch Health Research Council (Zon-Mw, grant number 10-000-1001), matching funds from participating pharmaceutical companies (Lundbeck, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Janssen Cilag), and universities and mental healthcare organizations (Amsterdam: Academic Psychiatric Centre of the Academic Medical Center and the mental health institutions): GGZ Ingeest, Arkin, Dijk en Duin, GGZ Rivierduinen, Erasmus Medical Centre, GGZ Noord Holland Noord. Groningen: University Medical Center Groningen and the mental health institutions: Lentis, GGZ Friesland, GGZ Drenthe, Dimence, Mediant, GGNet Warnsveld, Yulius Dordrecht, and Parnassia psycho-medical center The Hague. Maastricht: Maastricht University Medical Centre and the mental health institutions: GGZ Eindhoven en De Kempen, GGZ Breburg, GGZ Oost-Brabant, Vincent van Gogh voor Geestelijke Gezondheid, Mondriaan, Virenze riagg, Zuyderland GGZ, MET ggz, Universitair Centrum Sint-Jozef Kortenberg, CAPRI University of Antwerp, PC Ziekeren Sint-Truiden, PZ Sancta Maria Sint-Truiden, GGZ Overpelt, OPZ Rekem. Utrecht: University Medical Center Utrecht and the mental health institutions: Altrecht, GGZ Centraal, and Delta.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


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