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March 1981

Schneiderian First-Rank Symptoms in Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute, Chicago (Dr Silverstein); Michael Reese Medical Center, Chicago (Drs Silverstein and Harrow); and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago (Drs Silverstein and Harrow).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(3):288-293. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780280056006

• Schneider's first-rank symptoms (FRS) are recognized by many psychiatrists worldwide as definitive criteria for estadlishing the diagnosis of schizophrenia. The relationships between FRS and major aspects of psychopathology were examined. Clinical course and outcome, indices of current functioning and symptom severity, premorbid adjustment, and prognostic indicators were assessed. Major comparisons were made between schizophrenics with FRS at follow-up and schizophrenics with psychotic symptoms exclusive of FRS. Positive findings in select areas of outcome functioning argue for the utility of FRS. However, several findings indicated that FRS were not more effective than non-Schneiderian psychotic symptoms in delineating central characteristics of the schizophrenic syndrome; they may identify a subgroup of schizophrenics with a more chronic course, but they do not appear to have the unique importance or diagnostic specificity that has been accorded them.

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