Characterization of affective domains within the nonaffective psychotic disorders

Victor Peralta, Manuel J Cuesta
Schizophrenia Research 2009, 111 (1-3): 61-9

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the affective dimensions of psychopathology in patients with a nonaffective psychosis and to examine their validity against a number of external variables.

METHODS: Five-hundred and thirty-five patients with a lifetime DSM-IV diagnosis of nonaffective psychosis were assessed during the index episode for 22 affective symptoms. These symptoms were factor analyzed and the resulting factor scores were examined for associations with a number of risk factors, illness characteristics, index episode psychopathology and outcome variables.

RESULTS: One-hundred and fifty-six patients (29.1%) met the criteria for a mood disorder during the index episode. Factor analysis of affective symptoms resulted in six factors (mania, core depression, anxiety, retarded depression, dysphoria and lability/mixed) explaining 56% of the variance. Regressions of clinical variables on the six factor scores (p < 0.01 after Bonferroni correction) revealed that mania was related to familial loading to bipolar disorder, shorter duration of the index episode and severity of disorganization symptoms; simple depression was related to suicidal behavior; anxiety was related to psychosocial stressors and reality-distortion symptoms; retarded depression was related to familial loading to major depression, poor premorbid adjustment and negative symptoms; dysphoria was related to violent behavior; lastly, the lability/mixed factor was related to better global functioning, shorter duration of the index episode, better response to treatment and episode polymorphism.

CONCLUSIONS: These results extend the phenomenology of nonaffective psychoses beyond the existing literature to include six affective domains. The validity of each domain is supported by their differential association pattern with illness-related variables.

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