Negative symptoms in first episode non-affective psychosis

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2002 Jun;105(6):431-9. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2002.02139.x.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of negative symptoms and to examine secondary sources of influence on negative symptoms and the role of specific negative symptoms in delay associated with seeking treatment in first episode non-affective psychosis.

Method: One hundred and ten patients who met Diagnostic Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV) criteria for a first episode of schizophrenia spectrum psychoses were rated for assessment of negative, positive, depressive and extrapyramidal symptoms, the premorbid adjustment scale and assessment of demographic and clinical characteristics including duration of untreated psychosis (DUP).

Results: Alogia/flat affect and avolition/anhedonia were strongly influenced by parkinsonian and depressive symptoms, respectively. A substantial proportion (26.8%) of patients showed at a least moderate level of negative symptoms not confounded by depression and Parkinsonism. DUP was related only to avolition/anhedonia while flat affect/alogia was related to male gender, diagnosis of schizophrenia, age of onset and the length of the prodrome.

Conclusion: Negative symptoms that are independent of the influence of positive symptoms, depression and extra pyramidal symptoms (EPS) are present in a substantial proportion of first episode psychosis patients and delay in seeking treatment is associated mainly with avolition and anhedonia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors