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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2015, Article ID 674641, 5 pages
Research Article

Depressive Symptoms during an Acute Schizophrenic Episode: Frequency and Clinical Correlates

Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry 605 006, India

Received 11 September 2015; Revised 3 November 2015; Accepted 10 November 2015

Academic Editor: Janusz K. Rybakowski

Copyright © 2015 Ravi Philip Rajkumar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Depressive symptoms are common in schizophrenia and are associated with poorer functioning, lower quality of life, and an elevated risk of suicidal behaviour. There are few studies on the occurrence and correlates of these symptoms in acutely ill patients with schizophrenia. Method. 72 acutely ill patients with schizophrenia were assessed for depression using the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS). A cut-off score of ≥6 on the CDSS was used to identify clinically significant depressive symptoms. The relationship between depression and illness variables, including psychotic symptom dimensions as measured by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale for Schizophrenia (PANSS), was examined. Results. Eleven (15.3%) patients had clinically significant depressive symptoms. These patients scored higher on the positive and general psychopathology scales of the PANSS and had higher rates of suicidal behavior and poorer functioning. The severity of depressive symptoms was positively correlated with the PANSS positive subscale and negatively correlated with the PANSS negative subscale. Discussion. These findings confirm previous reports that depressive symptoms in active schizophrenia is related to the severity of positive psychotic symptoms and is a risk factor for suicidal behaviour in these patients.