Prevalence and course of schizophrenia in a Chinese rural area
AbstractObjective: To assess the characteristics and factors affecting course of schizophrenia in a Chinese rural area. Method: An epidemiological investigation was conducted to identify all the patients with schizophrenia among 149 231 people in Xinjin County, Chengdu. Results: The total prevalence of schizophrenia was 4.13 per 1000 population. Males had an earlier mean age of onset (29.6 years) than females (32.3 years). Duration of illness before treatment and the total duration of illness were found to be significantly associated with level of remission. The status of treatment, family economy, housing, and families' care of patients had a significant effect on the clinical course of the illness. Conclusions: Duration of illness before treatment may be an important predictor of course in schizophrenia. Early treatment for the patients may produce higher level of improvement in prognosis. Education intervention and community-based service are urgent priorities for these patients.