Aims: Dysfunction in social and role functioning is a hallmark of schizophrenia, which is present in both the prodromal phase and at the first episode of the illness. Two new measures, Global Functioning: Social and Global Functioning: Role, were developed to address functioning in the prodromal phase of the illness. The purpose of this study was to determine if these measures would be useful in a first episode population.
Methods: Forty-eight stable outpatients were assessed using the new social and role scales. A subsample of 33 subjects was assessed at 6 and 12 months. All subjects were additionally assessed using standardized measures of psychotic symptoms, social functioning, self-esteem and beliefs about illness.
Results: Average ratings on the Global Functioning: Social and Role scales were 6 (standard deviation (SD) = 1.60) and 5.5 (SD = 2.2), respectively. Both social and role scales were significantly correlated with relevant subscales on the Social Functioning Scale. Good social but not role functioning was related to low levels of both positive and negative symptoms and to high self-esteem. Role but not social functioning was related to personal beliefs about the illness, such as having control over illness and feeling less stigmatized. Repeated measures analyses demonstrated no change over time for either social or role functioning.
Conclusion: The Global Functioning: Social and Role scales appear to be useful and valid measures of functioning in first-episode patients. These ratings are similar to those reported in prodromal studies supporting the idea that poor functioning may be a stable long-standing deficit.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.