Objectives: Patients with schizophrenia have a significant risk of self-harm. We aimed to explore the dynamic relationship between symptomatology, functioning and deliberate self-harm (DSH) and evaluate the feasibility of developing a self-harm risk prediction tool for patients with first-episode schizophrenia (FES).
Methods: Patients with FES (n = 1234) were followed up for 36 months. Symptomatology, functioning, treatment adherence and self-harm information were obtained monthly over the follow-up period. A time-varying vector autoregressive (VAR) model was used to study the contribution of clinical variables to self-harm over the 36th month. Random forest models for self-harm were established to classify the individuals with self-harm and predict future self-harm events.
Results: Over a 36-month period, 187 patients with FES had one or more self-harm events. The depressive symptoms contributed the most to self-harm prediction during the first year, while the importance of positive psychotic symptoms increased from the second year onwards. The random forest model with all static information and symptom instability achieved a good area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC = 0.77 ± 0.023) for identifying patients with DSH. With a sliding window analysis, the averaged AUROC of predicting a self-event was 0.65 ± 0.102 (ranging from 0.54 to 0.78) with the best model being 6-month predicted future 6-month self-harm for month 11–23 (AUROC = 0.7).
Conclusions: Results highlight the importance of the dynamic relationship of depressive and positive psychotic symptoms with self-harm and the possibility of self-harm prediction in FES with longitudinal clinical data. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).
CitationWong, T. Y., Chan, S. K. W., Cheung, C., Hui, C. L. M., Suen, Y. N., Chang, W. C., Lee, E. H. M., & Chen, E. Y. H. (2022). Dynamic patterns of symptoms and functioning in predicting deliberate self-harm in patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorders over 3 years. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 48(5), 1043-1052. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbac057
- First-episode schizophrenia
- Prediction model
- Symptom instability