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Different outcomes of never-treated and treated patients with schizophrenia: 14-year follow-up study in rural China

  • Mao-Sheng Ran (a1), Xue Weng (a1), Cecilia Lai-Wan Chan (a1), Eric Yu-Hai Chen (a2), Cui-Ping Tang (a3), Fu-Rong Lin (a3), Wen-Jun Mao (a4), Shi-Hui Hu (a4), Yue-Qin Huang (a5) and Meng-Ze Xiang (a6)...

Abstract

Background

The long-term outcome of never-treated patients with schizophrenia is unclear.

Aims

To compare the 14-year outcomes of never-treated and treated patients with schizophrenia and to establish predictors for never being treated.

Method

All participants with schizophrenia (n = 510) in Xinjin, Chengdu, China were identified in an epidemiological investigation of 123 572 people and followed up from 1994 to 2008.

Results

The results showed that there were 30.6%, 25.0% and 20.4% of patients who received no antipsychotic medication in 1994, 2004 and 2008 respectively. Compared with treated patients, those who were never treated in 2008 were significantly older, had significantly fewer family members, had higher rates of homelessness, death from other causes, being unmarried, living alone, being without a caregiver and poor family attitudes. Partial and complete remission in treated patients (57.3%) was significantly higher than that in the never-treated group (29.8%). Predictors of being in the never-treated group in 2008 encompassed baseline never-treated status, being without a caregiver and poor mental health status in 1994.

Conclusions

Many patients with schizophrenia still do not receive antipsychotic medication in rural areas of China. The 14-year follow-up showed that outcomes for the untreated group were worse. Community-based mental healthcare, health insurance and family intervention are crucial for earlier diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation in the community.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Mao-Sheng Ran, MMed, PhD, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Email: msran@hku.hk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Different outcomes of never-treated and treated patients with schizophrenia: 14-year follow-up study in rural China

  • Mao-Sheng Ran (a1), Xue Weng (a1), Cecilia Lai-Wan Chan (a1), Eric Yu-Hai Chen (a2), Cui-Ping Tang (a3), Fu-Rong Lin (a3), Wen-Jun Mao (a4), Shi-Hui Hu (a4), Yue-Qin Huang (a5) and Meng-Ze Xiang (a6)...
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