Given the strong prognostic value of early negative symptoms (NS), understanding their associations with long-term outcomes of schizophrenia is essential. The study examined early NS patterns in trajectory, severity and variability and their association with 12-year outcomes. NS in the first 36 months after onset and the symptomatology, cognitive function, and functioning at 12 years were examined in 330 patients with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The relationships and pathways between the outcomes at 12 years and the trajectory, severity, and variability of early NS were examined. We found that the prediction of trajectory of early NS to long-term outcomes was limited, whereas variability was negatively associated with the patient's long-term executive function, and severity was positively associated with long-term symptomatology and negatively associated with long-term functioning. Path modelling revealed that the severity and variability of early NS influenced patients’ long-term functioning via cognitive function and/or clinical symptom pathways. Our findings support the notion that severity of early NS influences the prognosis of schizophrenia and the closer examination revealed that the severity and variability of early NS are differentially associated with long-term clinical symptoms, executive function, and functional outcomes via distinct pathways. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
CitationSuen, Y. N., Pang, S. W. T., Cheung, C., Wong, T. Y., Hui, L. M. C., Lee, H. M. E., Chang, W. C., Chen, Y. H. E., & Chan, S. K. W. (2023). Impact of early negative symptom patterns on the long-term outcomes of patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorders: A 12-year follow up study. Psychiatry Research, 323, Article 115180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2023.115180
- Negative symptoms
- Executive function