The course of schizophrenia: Progressive deterioration, amelioration or both?

Jonathan Rabinowitz, Stephen Z. Levine, Rachel Haim, Heinz Häfner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Schizophrenia may follow a course of amelioration, deterioration or stability. It is possible that deterioration at the aggregate level may be due to a sub-group of patients with a tendency to deteriorate. Aims: To examine the course of schizophrenia in a national population-based cohort. Methods: All first admissions for schizophrenia in Israel 1978-1986 were followed for readmissions in the Israeli psychiatric hospitalization registry for 10 years (n = 6865). Readmission rates were examined using cluster analysis. This was followed by an examination of changes in readmission patterns. Results: Cluster analysis identified a small cluster of patients who spent more days in the hospital over time and two clusters that improved. A priori classification of the patients into deteriorating, improving and stable (based on days hospitalized per year) revealed that approximately 75% of patients improved over time. Conclusions: Over time a majority of patients appear to improve and a minority appear to deteriorate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-258
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of German Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP).


  • Amelioration
  • Course
  • Deterioration
  • Frailty
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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