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Objective: The present study aims to assess the presence and severity of depressive symptoms in persons suffering from schizophrenia as compared to normal healthy controls.
Material and Methods: This case control comparative study was carried out at the Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Medical Institute, Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar from January to December 2005. One twenty subjects were included in the study by non probability convenient sampling. Group 1 (the study group) included sixty patients suffering from schizophrenia between the ages of 15-60 and Group 2 (the control group) included sixty normal subjects without any major psychiatric disorder proportionally
matched for age and gender. Those suffering from schizoaffective illness, major depression and organic brain damage were excluded. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), a 21 item scale was used to assess the presence and severity of depressive symptoms.
Results: The spectrum of depressive symptoms was broad in the schizophrenic sample. The difference in two groups was observed specially in depressed mood i.e., 19 patients in the study vs. 3 subjects in the control group with a p value of 0.0001 and in psychomotor retardation i.e., 19 patients in the study vs. 4 subjects in the control group, again with a p value of 0.0001.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that depressive symptoms are a part and parcel of schizophrenia and every patient suffering from schizophrenia should be assessed in detail for the presence and severity of depressive symptoms.
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