Journal Title:  Annals of Clinical Psychiatry | Vol:  17 | Issue:  1 | Year:  2005   
Print ISSN:  1040-1237 | Online ISSN:  1547-3325   

Variable Effects of Psychosocial Factors on the Clinical Course of Schizophrenia

James L. Megna M.D., Ph.D
Sanjay Gupta M.D
Andrew Ursino Ph.D
Mantosh Dewan M.D.

pages: 19 - 21
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Background. Recent work suggests that psychosocial stress factors play a lesser role (qualitatively) in the progression of schizophrenic illness in male patients. The authors endeavored to determine if hospitalization in schizophrenic patients of both sexes is associated with less quantifiable psychosocial stress over time.

Methods. Male and female, schizophrenic inpatients from 2 urban centers in New York State (n=31) were enrolled in this retrospective and cross-sectional study. Linear regression analysis was performed with illness duration as the independent variable and ln (1 + Paykel Life Events Schedule) score, associated with current hospitalization, as the dependent variable.

Results. Linear regression analysis revealed an inverse relationship (slope = −.086) that was statistically significant (p<.01). This result indicates an annual 92% reduction in the psychosocial stress load associated with hospitalization. The inverse relationship remained intact when males and females were analyzed separately.

Conclusions. The data suggest that, over time, male and female patients with schizophrenia experience hospitalization and, likely, relapse as well in response to less of a total significance load of psychosocial stress.