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The Kraków study on the course of schizophrenia began in 1985. It is a prospective, real-time study. Its general aim is to observe schizophrenic patients for many years - from the first occurrence through the years of living with the illness - and to assess the results of the treatment and the prognostic factors. The aim of the study presented below was (i) to examine the course of schizophrenia and (ii) to assess the results of the treatment in the clinical and social aspect three, seven and twelve years after the first hospitalisation, as different in those patients who participated in the individual treatment programme (ITP) and the community treatment programme (CTP). The study group included 80 patients. They and their families are inhabitants of Kraków. In the study the follow-up chart, BPRS LA, GAS, NSA scales, Lehman's quality-of-life questionnaire, and Bizoń's social network questionnaire were used. Listed below are selected results of the treatment, general, clinical and social.
1. The patients spent 95% of the follow-up period in the community. Two patients (3%) live in a home, outside their community. One patient committed suicide (1.5%). According to the GAS scale, with 29% of the patients, the result was positive and high, over 70 points (ITP - 17% vs. CTP - 42%).
2. Relapses become more frequent in the subsequent years of the follow-up period and amount to 13% after 1 year, 50% after 3 years, 73% after 7 years and 79% after 12 years (ITP- 89% vs. CTP - 69%). Throughout the 12 years, the average period of inpatient treatment was shorter in the community programme (ITP - 25 weeks vs. CTP - 19 weeks; Mann-Whitney test p=.00). After 12 years 33% of the patients displayed no symptoms. The dynamics of the positive and negative syndrome according to BPRS was stable as early as in the first year of the illness. After 12 years, the average level of symptoms according to BPRS was 39.1 in the ITP, and 33.5 in the CTP.
3. 51% of the patients are married (ITP - 58% vs. CTP - 45%), 7% are divorced and 41% are single. 72% of the patients receive social security benefits. After 12 years, 39% of the patients remain active on the labour market.
4. After 12 years, a positive course of the illness in the clinical aspect is observed in from 27% of the patients (1 relapse) to 61% of the patients (minimal symptoms); and in the social aspect from 39% (employment) to 64% (contacts outside the family) of the schizophrenic patients, depending on the criteria of the assessment of the results of the treatment. These results are partly correlated and partly independent.