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Prevalence of catatonic signs in acute psychiatric patients in Scotland

  • Amal Al Sayegh (a1) and David Reid (a2)
Abstract
Aims and method

Concerns have been raised that catatonia is underdiagnosed. Prevalence varies (1.3-32%) depending on diagnostic criteria. We used the Modified Rogers Scale to rate catatonic signs in patients consecutively admitted to three psychiatric wards over a 10-month period.

Results

The prevalence of patients demonstrating any catatonic signs was at least 7.9-19.1%. The most common catatonic signs were marked underactivity (not sedated), echolalia/palilalia, marked overactivity (not restlessness) and gegenhalten. In those with catatonic signs, the most common diagnoses were schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and dementia.

Clinical implications

Most of the most common catatonic signs in our sample were motor signs. Antipsychotic-induced motor signs reflect interaction between drug and disease. Catatonic signs are not anchored in any one diagnosis and are on a spectrum of severity and quantity. Prevalence of these signs is higher than often presumed.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Amal Al Sayegh (amal.alsayegh@nhs.net)
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
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Prevalence of catatonic signs in acute psychiatric patients in Scotland

  • Amal Al Sayegh (a1) and David Reid (a2)
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