Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 399-402

Symptoms at onset in first episode schizophrenia: Caregivers perspectives


Consultant Psychiatrist, Schizophrenia Research Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Hema Tharoor
Schizophrenia Research Foundation, R/7A, North Main Road, Anna Nagar West Extension, Chennai - 600 101, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.168564

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Background: Early recognition of symptoms is important in the management of psychosis. Caregivers understanding and attribution of symptoms plays a major role in treatment selection. Aim: The aim was to identify the various symptoms cluster recognized by caregivers at illness onset in first episode schizophrenia. Subjects and Methods: In a cross-sectional study 40 key caregivers of patients with first episode of Schizophrenia (International Classification of Diseases-10) attending the outpatient services of Schizophrenia Research Foundation were recruited. Caregivers were assessed using a questionnaire adapted from the Psychiatric and Personal History Schedule. Statistical Analysis: Principal component (PCP) analysis. Results: Caregivers were predominantly women. Parents (58%), siblings (18%), spouse (12%), and children (12%) formed the sample. The caregiver easily recognized depressive symptoms. An analysis was done to analyze symptom data rated on the caregiver questionnaire indicated a four-factor solution. PCP analysis produced a clear depressive, anxious, irritable, and vegetative factor (Eigenvalue >0.05). Caregivers (40%) attributed present lifestyle as causality. The first contact of help in almost half of the sample (45%) was to a psychiatric facility. Conclusion: Caregiver's perception about mental illness and ability to identify the four factors has important treatment implications. Studying patterns of help seeking may be a useful strategy in early intervention programs.


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