January 1992

Subjective Conclusions About Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry Southwestern Medical School University of Texas at Dallas 5323 Harry Hines Blvd Room F5.400 Dallas, TX 75235-9070

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992;49(1):74. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1992.01820010074009

To the Editor.—  Breier et al1 and Carone et al2 present interesting and important findings regarding the longterm course of schizophrenia. Their articles also illustrate how careful scientific work may ultimately lead to subjective conclusions. To the detriment of patients and families, their conclusions, as opposed to their data, may propagate an unduly pessimistic picture of schizophrenia.Figure 2 in the article by Breier et al is strikingly graphic and subjective, with no scale on the abscissa. Drawn this way, it presents a more negative image than does their discussion of the phasic model.Carone et al give a thoughtful discussion of their and others' findings, but they do so with some misinterpretations. Their findings do not "challenge the conclusions" of Harding et al.3 Harding et al found a very poor outcome in the early course of their patients. The good outcome they reported was at the 25-year

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