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Use of symptoms by schizophrenics to monitor and regulate their illness.

Authors
  • McCandless-Glimcher, L
  • McKnight, S
  • Hamera, E
  • Smith, B L
  • Peterson, K A
  • Plumlee, A A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Hospital & community psychiatry
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1986
Volume
37
Issue
9
Pages
929–933
Identifiers
PMID: 3758977
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Interviews with 62 outpatients with chronic schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder indicated that many patients monitor symptoms that they associate with changes in their illness and alter their behavior based on their symptoms. Ninety-eight percent of the subjects identified symptoms, two-thirds of which were nonpsychotic, that indicated to them they were getting worse. Eighty-two percent of those who identified symptoms of decompensation responded by altering their behavior, either by self-treatment (such as self-medicating, engaging in a diversionary activity, or attempting to ignore the symptoms), by seeking mental health assistance, or both. The authors compare their findings with those of other studies and discuss the study's implications for research on and care of schizophrenic patients.

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