A prospective study of daily stressors and symptomatology in schizophrenic patients

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There has been very little research on the ability of a measure of daily stressors such as the Hassles Scale to predict symptomatology in schizophrenia. We examined this issue in a group of 55 outpatients with a DSM-III-R diagnosis of schizophrenia. The patients were assessed on a monthly basis for a minimum of 12 months. The Hassles Scale was used to assess daily stressors and the indices of symptomatology included the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Sympotoms, the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Self-Evaluation Questionnaire, and the General Health Questionnaire. Longitudinal data on the relationship between Hassles score and symptomatology were analyzed for each patient. Statistically significant correlations of symptoms with stressors for the previous month were found in a greater number of patients than would be expected by chance. There was some reduction in the number of significant correlations when the possible role of prior symptomatology was statistically controlled for.