Background: The extent of premorbid changes associated with the onset of schizophrenia are debated. Aims: The study examined cognitive and behavioural functioning prior to, and after, first hospitalisation for schizophrenia. Method: Data from the Israeli Draft Board Register of intelligence, social functioning and behaviour testing for all Israeli males aged 16-17 was linked with data from the National Psychiatric Hospitalisation Case Register. This identified 692 men who had been admitted to hospital for schizophrenia. Cases and non-cases matched on age and school were compared, as were cases aggregated by the time that had elapsed between testing and first admission to hospital. Results: Cases performed worse than non-cases on all measures. On Social Functioning and on Raven's Progressive Matrices-R, differences between cases and non-cases were progressively greater for cases admitted closer to the time of testing. These differences were greatest for persons tested after first psychiatric hospitalisation. Conclusions: The results confirm premorbid deficits associated with schizophrenia and support the hypothesis that decline is progressive. Declaration of interest: None.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health