Remission in schizophrenia: applying recent consensus criteria to refine the concept
Lasser, Robert A × Nasrallah, Henry Helldin, Lars Peuskens, Joseph Kane, John Docherty, John Tronco, Anselmo Toledo #
Schizophrenia research vol:96 issue:1-3 pages:223-31
Although the concept of remission has been widely accepted and utilized in depression and anxiety disorders, there has been much less emphasis on defining remission in schizophrenia. Recently, an expert consensus definition of remission in schizophrenia was proposed along specific operational criteria for the attainment of remission focusing on the three core dimensions of psychopathology identified within schizophrenia: psychoticism, disorganization and negative symptoms. To date, the criteria have been applied retrospectively to several clinical studies, and these have demonstrated that the proposed definition of remission correlates significantly with established measures of symptom severity, functioning and quality of life, and appears achievable for a significant proportion of patients receiving at least 3 months of pharmacotherapy. In this article we extend the notion of remission to include an examination of the possible association of several modifiable and unmodifiable factors and co-morbidities on remission status. We also propose an investigation into the likelihood of different patient populations in achieving remission as well as assessing the impact of remission on health care costs and family burden. Since cognitive dysfunction and negative symptoms may be strongly correlated with a lower likelihood of achieving remission, we recommend retrospective and/or prospective studies to determine the relationship between neurocognitive status and the predominance of negative symptoms at treatment start and the probability of achieving remission. Taken together, these studies should help identify key predictors of remission, further define the remitted state, reduce therapeutic pessimism, raise treatment expectations and chart a strategy for further research in this important area.