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June 1975

Differentiating Criteria for Acute-Chronic Distinction in Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, Bellevue Medical Center, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(6):705-712. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760240033002

Type of onset, presence of precipitating events, mental status, and premorbid instrumental functioning, commonly associated with prognosis in schizophrenia, were studied in relation to the acute-chronic distinction and short-term outcome in 641 schizophrenic patients. Contrary to the general position held by some researchers, none of the clinical predictors (type of onset, precipitating crises, and mental status) appeared to distinguish the two types of schizophrenics, or to contribute substantially to the prediction of readmission.

Preadmission social functioning of the two patient groups was more similar than generally indicated by previous research. As regards prediction of short-term rehospitalization, the study identified poor relationships with parents, friends, and opposltesexed peers as important factors for acute patients and antisocial behavior and inability to relate to the opposite sex and others in the community as important variables for chronic patients.