Patients with schizophrenia often have symptoms of depression which are overlooked, say researchers.
The Spanish study of 90 patients with stable schizophrenia found almost a third had symptoms of depression that were not secondary to their disorder or due to adverse effects of their medication.
Researchers’ analysed data from 90 patients – aged 18 to 50 – who had not previously been diagnosed with depression. On the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia, 28 patients had a total score of five or more, making the prevalence of depression 31%.
The proportion of patients with depression did seem to differ depending on which antipsychotic they were taking – the prevalence of depression was lowest in those taking quetiapine, at only 10%.
Study lead Dr Susana Majadas, a psychiatrist from the University of Salamanca, said that their results suggest ‘depression in patients with schizophrenia is an under-recognised problem.’
She said: ‘Whether the diagnosis of depression is missed or the symptoms of depression are undertreated cannot be answered by our study.’
Comprehensive Psychiatry 2012; 53: 145–151