Subtypes of Schizophrenia: a cluster analytic approach

Helmes, Edward, and Landmark, Jhan (2003) Subtypes of Schizophrenia: a cluster analytic approach. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 48 (10). pp. 702-708.

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Objectives: To identify empirical subtypes of schizophrenia, based upon the symptoms recorded over the duration of the illness, and to validate the resulting clusters against other systems that are used for subtyping schizophrenia.

Methods: Data for 55 symptoms of schizophrenia over the history of the illness from 107 chronic schizophrenia patients were analyzed using hierarchical cluster analysis with Euclidean distance and Ward’s method. Except for 1 patient, all met DSM-III criteria. There were 40 men and 67 women, average (SD) age of 38.2 (9.91) years, with a mean (SD) hospitalization of 27.9 (27.35) months.

Results: No clear and unambiguous solution for the number of clusters was evident. Examination of the clusters led to further analysis of 2- and 6-cluster solutions. These were contrasted with DSM-III, DSM-III-R, and DSM-IV criteria and with the subtypes taken from the literature. There was limited support for any of these types, with none replicating, including the paranoid–nonparanoid distinction.

Conclusion: Empirical clusters derived from lifetime symptom data failed to agree with either the established DSM or other empirically derived subtypes. Subtypes may have little utility when the variability of symptoms over the longitudinal course of the illness is considered.

Item ID: 6060
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0706-7437
Keywords: schizophrenia; diagnosis; cluster analysis; classification; DSM
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2010 05:31
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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