Current Research on Suicide and Parasuicide: Selected Proceedings of the Second European Symposium on Suicidal Behaviour, Edinburgh, June 1988

By Stephen David Platt; Norman Kreitman | Go to book overview

Schizoaffective disorders and suicidal
behaviour:
a long-term follow-up study

A. ROHDE, A. MARNERSO and A. DEISTER


Introduction

There have been several studies of suicidal behaviour in schizophrenic or affective disorders, but few investigations in relation to schizoaffective patients. In general the suicide risk in patients with schizoaffective psychoses is considered to be approximately similar to that amongst patients with affective disorders ( Angst and Stassen, 1987).

As part of the Cologne Study we investigated the course of the illness and outcome in seventy-two patients with schizoaffective disorders ( Marneroset al. 1988a-d, 1989a,b; Steinmeyeret al. 1989). As one aspect of prognosis, we evaluated suicidal symptomatology and suicidal behaviour during the long-term course of the illness.


Material and methods

The seventy-two patients with schizoaffective psychoses had a mean duration of illness of 25.6 years. The primary population of schizoaffective patients consisted of 108 in-patients in the Cologne University Psychiatric Hospital between 1950 and 1979, diagnosed as 'cases-in-between' ( Zwischen-Fälle) according to Kurt Schneider's criteria ( 1973). The diagnosis 'case-in-between' required a mixture of schizophrenic and affective symptoms. All the cases fulfilled the criteria of schizoaffective disorders used in the Cologne Study ( Marneroset al. 1986, 1988a), i.e. concurrent or sequential presence of schizophrenic and melancholic or manic symptomatology (DSM-III/DSM-III-R 'Melancholic Type of Major

-88-

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