Long-term outcome of leucotomy on behaviour of people with schizophrenia

Helmes, Edward, and Velamoor, Varadaraj R. (2009) Long-term outcome of leucotomy on behaviour of people with schizophrenia. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 55 (1). pp. 61-70.

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Abstract

Background: Prefrontal leucotomy was widely used from the late 1930s to early 1950s as a treatment for disorders involving obsessive agitation. Comparatively few studies of the enduring behavioural effects of such surgery exist, while data on mortality and cognition have been better reported.

Aims: We contrast the psychosocial functioning of older individuals with schizophrenia who had undergone prefrontal leucotomy with two groups of their peers who had not undergone such surgery.

Method: A total of 87 individuals (one female) with a mean age of 70.3 years (SD = 6.84) were evaluated twice 25 months apart using a standardized rating scale. Twenty of the residents, all with schizophrenia, had undergone prefrontal leucotomy approximately 45 years previously. All diagnoses of schizophrenia were confirmed by multiple psychiatrists using DSM-III criteria at the time of the ratings, which were completed by two care staff who knew the residents well.

Results: Repeated measures comparisons with schizophrenia and non-schizophrenia patient groups showed no significant differences between the leucotomy and unoperated comparison groups on four of the five Multidimensional Observation Scale for Elderly Subjects (MOSES) scales.

Conclusions: These results are consistent with reports of compromised function among individuals who had undergone leucotomy and contrast with some reports of positive changes in behaviour.

Item ID: 11427
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: schizophrenia; leukotomy; social function; outcome; psychosurgery
ISSN: 1741-2854
Date Deposited: 28 May 2010 05:27
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology) @ 33%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 34%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment @ 33%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920111 Nervous System and Disorders @ 75%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes @ 25%
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