August 25, 2005

Depression Improves Functioning

A recent research study suggests that depression in schizophrenia patients that have been institutionalized may be correlated with improved functioning for some of them. The study looked at 657 people with schizophrenia that had been institutionalized and looked at how depression affected them.

48 of the 657 (7.3%) were suffering from depression, some had a severe form of it, and others were at a moderate level. Most of those who were depressed were younger, had a higher education level, and had not been hospitalized as long as those who were not depressed. These variables were taken into account and depressed and non-depressed patients were matched in accordance with these characteristics.

Those who were depressed suffered from more positive symptoms of schizophrenia, but suffered from less negative symptoms than their non-depressed counterparts. This was determined by scores on the Positive and Negative Syndrome scale. Those who were depressed had a Positive syndrome score of 3.52 compared to 2.11, their average Negative syndrome score was at 3.46 compared to 4.33 in the non-depressed patients.

The Mini-Mental State Examination and the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognition, was used to determine their social and cognitive functioning level. Those who were depressed had better scores showing that they were at a higher social and cognitive functioning level. The researchers found that "depressed mood was not associated with worse, but better functioning on indicators of self-care and social functioning" (, 2005). These findings are surprising considering that depression is associated with negative outcomes in those who are not suffering from schizophrenia or another concurrent mental disorder.

Original Source: Depression improves functioning in some schizophrenia patients. August 25, 2005.

This research study was published in Schizophr Res 2005; 77: 179–187.


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