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Schizoaffective disorders with and without onset in the puerperium

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The premorbid and sociodemographic features, long-term course and long-term outcome (on average 23.8 resp. 26.8 years after onset of illness) were compared in 30 female schizoaffective patients with onset of their illness during the puerperium and 60 female schizoaffective patients with onset at other times. The majority of premorbid and sociodemographic variables as well as course parameters were similar in the two groups. Most of the few differences (in age at first manifestation, marital state at onset, presence of stable heterosexual relationship before onset, acuteness of onset, presence of life events) are closely connected with the inclusion and exclusion criteria applied for the puerperal disorders (exclusion of patients with preexisiting illness or psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy, inclusion only if onset was within 6 weeks of parturition). The puerperal schizoaffective disorders began more frequently with a schizomanic episode and less frequently with a schizodepressive episode than did the non-puerperal schizoaffective disorders, a finding which perhaps reflected the “pathoplastic” role of the puerperium on psychotic disorders. Several significant differences were found regarding the long-term outcome (frequency of persistent alterations, level of global functioning and disability, non-achievement of the expected social development, loss of autarky), confirming earlier findings that puerperal disorders generally have a better outcome than other psychotic disorders.

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Correspondence to Anke Rohde.

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Rohde, A., Marneros, A. Schizoaffective disorders with and without onset in the puerperium. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Nuerosci 242, 27–33 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02190339

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Key words

  • Schizoaffective disorders
  • With and without onset postpartum
  • Sociodemographic and premorbid features
  • Long-term course
  • Long-term outcome