Pseudoneurotic symptoms in the schizophrenia spectrum: An empirical study

Andreas Rosén Rasmussen*, Maja Zandersen, Julie Nordgaard, Karl Erik Sandsten, Josef Stefan Stanislaw Parnas

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde
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Background: Nonpsychotic symptoms (depression, anxiety, obsessions etc.) are frequent in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Twentieth century foundational psychopathological literature claimed that certain nonpsychotic symptoms (here termed pseudoneurotic symptoms) are relatively closely linked with the schizophrenia-spectrum, despite descriptive overlap with symptoms of other diagnoses. In this study, we investigated the association of pseudoneurotic and other nonpsychotic symptoms with the schizophrenia-spectrum as well as a hypothesis about an association of pseudoneurotic symptoms with disorder of basic self.

Methods: The sample (N = 226) comprised patients with non-affective psychosis (N = 119), schizotypal personality disorder (N = 51) and other mental illness (N = 56), who were examined with a comprehensive assessment of lifetime psychopathology. Informed by the literature, we constructed scales targeting pseudoneurotic symptoms and other, more general, nonpsychotic symptoms.

Results: Pseudoneurotic symptoms aggregated significantly in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders with an Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.84 (SE 0.03) for classifying patients with schizophreniaspectrum disorders versus other mental illness. Patients with non-affective psychosis scored slightly, but significantly, higher on the scale targeting general nonpsychotic symptomatology than the other groups. In multiple regression analysis, pseudoneurotic symptoms were predicted by general nonpsychotic symptoms, disorders of basic self, and negative symptoms but not positive symptoms.

Conclusion: The study supports that certain neurotic-like symptoms with specific descriptive features (pseudoneurotic symptoms) are associated with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. It suggests that pseudoneurotic symptoms are linked with temporally stable schizophrenia psychopathology (disorder of basic self and negative
TidsskriftSchizophrenia Research
Sider (fra-til)164-171
StatusUdgivet - 2022


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