Functional status in older schizophrenic patients

(Review of article published in Schizophrenia Research 2002; 55: 205–215)

Contrary to expectations, many older patients with schizophrenia maintain a reasonably good level of functioning and independence, says a team from California.

The general consensus is often that functional impairment is inevitable in older schizophrenic patients, because schizophrenia and aging are both risk factors.

Overall, the schizophrenia group had worse functional status than the control group. Nevertheless, the team notes that 30% of the schizophrenic patients were employed at least 50% of the time after schizophrenia diagnosis.

Furthermore, 73% were living in a house or apartment and were responsible for meeting most of their own daily needs, while 43% were current drivers.

Lead author Barton Palmer (University of California, San Diego) and colleagues say that these results illustrate the range and levels of functional independence that some schizophrenic patients may achieve.



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