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Long-term course of schizoaffective disorders

Part III: Onset, type of episodes and syndrome shift, precipitating factors, suicidality, seasonality, inactivity of illness, and outcome

Summary

In addition to the findings presented previously, one-half of the 72 investigated schizoaffective patients had an acute onset. Onset of manic symptomatology was found to be usually acute. Although precipitating factors were found in 76% of the patients, this was found for only one-third of the 397 episodes. In spite of the fact that the majority of patients (61%) had a polymorphous course (with more than one type of episode), the pure schizophrenic or pure affective syndromes only seldomly dominated the course, as schizoaffectivity score and syndrome-presence index showed. Some 81% of the patients had delusions or hallucinations but only 37% of the individual episodes; 65% of the patients had suicidal symptomatology (24% of the episodes, mainly the schizodepressive ones). No seasonality was found, and 50% of the patients had a favorable outcome, only 6% ended in severe residuum. In old age the illness usually became inactive.

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Author information

Correspondence to A. Marneros.

Additional information

Supported by the German Research Association (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) by grants No. Ma 915-1/1 and Ma 915-1/2. The data analysis and statistical evaluation were carried out in the Institute for Medical Documentation and Statistics of the University of Bonn (Head: Prof. Dr. M. P. Baur)

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Marneros, A., Rohde, A., Deister, A. et al. Long-term course of schizoaffective disorders. Eur Arch Psychiatr Neurol Sci 237, 283–290 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00450547

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Key words

  • Schizoaffective disorders
  • Onset
  • Outcome
  • Suicidality
  • Syndrome shift