Our objective was to study gender differences in schizophrenia, comparing clinical, social, and illness course characteristics. A sample of 239 schizophrenic (DSM-IV criteria) outpatients were administered the following instruments: service use and demographic questionnaires, the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS), the Disability Assessment Scale (DAS), and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale. The female to male ratio was 1/2. Men had an earlier age at onset. Women were more likely to be married and to live independently, and there were more unemployed men. Social functioning was slightly better in women (lower DAS scoring). No differences were found in symptomatological variables (global or separate PANSS scales), nor in type of schizophrenia. Course of illness in the past year appeared to be similar, except for longer hospital stays in men. We conclude that schizophrenic women had a significantly better social functioning, despite the lack of remarkable symptomatic differences between genders.
Copyright 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company