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Political change and course of schizophrenia in East Germany, 1984–1994

  • S. Priebe
  • M. Bröker
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

Background: We tested the hypothesis that the political change occurring in East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 affected patients with long-term schizophrenia, resulting in more and longer hospitalisations. Methods: In two samples in East Germany (120 patients in East Berlin, 70 patients in Chemnitz) and in a control group from West Berlin (40 patients), hospitalisations for each month between November 1984 and October 1994 were assessed. Each sample included all schizophrenia patients who were in continuous treatment in the given community mental health centre throughout the full observation period. Results: Hospitalisation indices were not higher after November 1989 than before in any of the groups. Conclusions: There is no evidence that political change in East Germany negatively affected the course of long-term schizophrenia as assessed by hospitalisations. If consistent medical care is provided, characteristics of the political system may have less impact on the course of schizophrenia than is sometimes assumed.

Keywords

Mental Health Schizophrenia Medical Care Health Centre Political System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Priebe
    • 1
  • M. Bröker
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine, East Ham Memorial Hospital, London E7 8QR, UK Tel.: +44 2085865272, Fax: +44 208885865273 e-mail: s.priebe@qmw.ac.ukGB

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