Anomalous subjective experience among first-admitted schizophrenia spectrum patients: empirical investigation

Psychopathology. 2005 Sep-Oct;38(5):259-67. doi: 10.1159/000088442. Epub 2005 Sep 20.


Our research group has for several years conducted philosophically informed, phenomenological-empirical studies of morbid alterations of conscious experience (subjectivity) in schizophrenia (Sz) and its spectrum of disorders. Some of these experiential alterations constitute, in our view, the vulnerability markers to Sz--indicators that are intrinsic to this disorder and which were historically considered as constituting the phenotypic anchor of the very concept and the diagnostic validity of Sz spectrum disorders. In a more pragmatic clinical context, these indicators, considered here as symptoms, may be potentially effective for early differential diagnosis. In this study, 151 consecutive first-admitted patients (with bipolar, melancholic and organic patients excluded) diagnosed according to the ICD-10, were evaluated on a number of expressive and experiential psychopathological dimensions, with special emphasis on the experiences of perplexity, disorders of self-awareness, perceptual disorders and anomalous bodily experiences. The a priori scales derived from the item pool of a slightly modified OPCRIT and BSABS were used for analyses. Sz and schizotypal disorder scored equally on the subjective dimensions, suggesting a basic phenomenological affinity of these disorders. In contrast, anomalies of subjective experience were clearly more pronounced among the patients within, as compared to those outside the Sz spectrum.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Empirical Research*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Admission*
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / rehabilitation*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Self Concept*