Course and predictors of symptomatic remission in late-life schizophrenia: A 5-year follow-up study in a Dutch psychiatric catchment area

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Background: The number of older schizophrenia patients is growing, the majority being treated in outpatient settings. Reported symptomatic remission rates in younger cohorts vary largely. Further insight into course trajectories and putative predictors of remission in older persons with schizophrenia is needed. Methods: 5-year follow-up course trajectories of symptomatic remission were examined in a catchment area-based group of 77 older Dutch patients (mean age 66.0 years)with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. A modified version of the ‘Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group’ criteria was used to determine remission status. In individuals who did not fulfil remission criteria at baseline (n = 56), predictors of conversion to remission status at 5-year follow-up were analysed using multivariable regression analyses. Results: A substantial increase in remission rate at 5-year follow-up (27.3% at baseline (T1), 49.4% at follow-up (T2))was found. Of all participants, 23.4% was in remission at both assessments and 46.8% was in non-remission at both assessments. 26.0% of the participants converted from non-remission at T1 to remission at T2, while 3.9% fell back from remission at T1 to non-remission at T2. Two significant baseline predictors of conversion to remission at follow-up were found: lower score on the PANSS positive symptom subscale, and having a partner. Conclusion: Symptomatic remission was as an attainable goal for almost half of all older patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder at 5-year follow-up. With a lower PANSS positive symptom subscale score, and having a partner emerging as the only predictors of conversion to remission, there remains a need to search for modifiable predictors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Longitudinal
  • Older
  • Recovery
  • Remission
  • Schizophrenia

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