Depression in Kraepelinian Schizophrenia

H E Naude, Renata Ronelle du Preez, R Sykes, H W Pretorius, M J van der Linde, J Pauw


Objective. Depressive symptoms are prevalent, under- recognised and clinically important in patients suffering from schizophrenia. Depressive symptoms in schizophrenia patients are associated with distinct morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of depressive symptoms in a subgroup of chronic schizophrenia, Kraepelinian schizophrenia, and the association with severity of illness. Kraepelinian schizophrenia is characterised by a chronic, unremitting, severe course of illness and severe deterioration of functioning in social, work and self-care domains.

Method. The Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS) and the Clinical Global Impression Severity (CGI-S) scale were administered to 113 patients who fulfilled the criteria of Kraepelinian schizophrenia.

Results. Sixty-eight males and 45 females participated in the study. Of this group, 17.7% scored 5 or more on the CDSS. The CGI-S scores indicated that almost half of the patients were moderately ill (i.e. a score of 4 on the CGI-S scale). Of the patients, 94 were receiving first-generation antipsychotic medication and 19 second- generation antipsychotic medication. Thirteen patients were also receiving antidepressant medication.

Conclusion. The findings of this study are consistent with current reports in the literature that depressive symptoms are not common in Kraepelinian schizophrenia, even though patients are moderately to severely ill in both symptom and functional domains.



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Submitted: 26 March 2009
Published: 01 December 2009

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South African Journal of Psychiatry    |    ISSN: 1608-9685 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2078-6786 (ONLINE)