Background: Resilience is successful adaptation despite adversity. This personality trait has the potential to add new knowledge to how to achieve a successful outcome, but resilience has been understudied in schizophrenia. The objective of the present study is to investigate if there are significant differences in resilience development among fully recovered and non recovered patients with first episode schizophrenia (FES).
Methods: In the ongoing Oslo Schizophrenia Recovery Study spanning 10 years, 28 first episode patients are interviewed and assessed yearly with comprehensive criteria of full recovery, a measure of social and role functioning and resilience, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale. The present study includes data from six follow-ups over four years. Working or studying, having symptoms that are stably mild or absent for two years or more, having contact with friends and/or dating, participating in leisure activities and living independently define full recovery. Results: At the four-year follow-up, 55% were sustained full/partly recovered. Ten percent of those fully recovered were no longer in treatment. Choosing the overall best linear mixed model, we found a significantly larger increase in resilience score among the fully recovered than among those not recovered.
Conclusions: Based on the theoretical rationale that resilience is activated differently in persons who experience adversity, the significant increase in resilience in the fully recovered group indicates that this psychological trait is present to a higher degree in fully recovered. These results highlight resilience as a factor associated with increased recovery in FES adding to the small literature on improvement among these patients and thus have important clinical implications.
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