Although a disabling disorder in itself, schizophrenia is associated with a host of comorbidities that further burden the patient. Psychiatric and somatic comorbidities, elevated mortality and patient quality of life are discussed in this slide deck, which also includes slides discussing the key features of the illness.

This slide deck has been developed in collaboration with the former Lundbeck International Neuroscience Foundation.

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Introduction

Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 1
Comorbidity

Schizophrenia, although Schizophrenia, although a disabling disorder in itself is associated with a host of comorbidities that further burden the patient.

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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 2
The comorbidities of schizophrenia
Schizophrenia, although a disabling disorder in itself, is associated with a host of comorbidities that further burden the patient.[APA, 2013; Buckley et al., 2009; Tsai & Rosenheck, 2013] These include psychiatric and somatic conditions.[Buckley et al., 2009; Tsai & Rose…
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 3
Swedish national cohort study of schizophrenia comorbidities
The correction of the results for potentially confounding variables in this study was an important control step.[Crump et al., 2013] The variables that were adjusted for included: age, marital status, education level, employment status, and income.[Crump et al., 2013] Sep…
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Psychiatric comorbidities

Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 4
Psychiatric comorbidities
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 5
Cognitive dysfunction
The diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia specify negative and cognitive symptoms.[APA, 2013, pgs. 99 & 101] These include diminution in aspects of memory, executive functioning, and processing.[APA, 2013, pg. 101] Although an aspect of schizophrenia, it is noted that the…
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 6
Depressive disorders
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterised by a period of at least two weeks during which an individual displays either low mood, or diminished interest or pleasure.[APA, 2013, pg. 163] There is a collection of associated symptoms, some of which must also be present…
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 7
Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a manic–depressive illness, whereby individuals experience periods of depression characterised by low mood, and mania characterised by elevated, expansive, or irritable mood.[APA, 2013, pg. 124] Bipolar disorder must be distinguished from schizophrenia…
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 8
Sleep disorders
The patient survey described on slide recruited 15 patients with a psychotic disorder, 8 of whom were diagnosed with schizophrenia.[Faulkner et al., 2017] Semi-structured interviews were conducted, lasting between 30 and 110 minutes, focussing on the patient’s experiences…
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 9
Anxiety disorders
Fear is a normal response to certain stimuli; it is an emotional response to either a real or a perceived imminent threat; anxiety is simply the anticipation of that future threat.[APA, 2013, pg. 189] The anxiety experienced within an anxiety disorder is more persistent t…
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 10
Panic disorder
Panic disorder refers to a condition whereby an individual suffers from unexpected attacks of panic symptoms, including: palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, choking feelings, chest pain or discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chills, numbness or tingling, de…
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 11
Obsessive–compulsive disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with reduced quality of life, and functional impairments.[APA, 2013, pg. 240] It is defined as:[APA, 2013, pg. 237]
  • obsession; recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images, that are experienced as unwanted or in…
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 12
Substance use disorder and schizophrenia
Substance-use disorders are a group of cognitive, behavioural, and physiological symptoms indicating that the individual continues to use a substance despite problems related to the use of that substance.[APA, 2013, pg. 483] Substances can include alcohol, cannabis, hallu…
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 13
Smoking
Although smoking may alleviate some of the symptoms of schizophrenia, cigarette smoking is a modifiable risk factor for a whole host of physical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, and cancer.[APA, 2013, pg. 574; De Hert et al., 2011] References: American Psyc…
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 14
Cannabis use
Cannabis-use disorder is characterised by a patient exhibiting a problematic pattern of cannabis use that leads to clinically significant impairment, or to distress.[APA, 2013] Cannabis use is often reported to be a form of self-medication, in order to cope with mood diso…
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Schizophrenia - Comorbidity - slide 15
The consequences of substance use disorder in schizophrenia
Comorbid substance use represents a barrier to carrying out effective treatment for schizophrenia, and is associated with its own set of health problems.[Winklbaur et al., 2006] As well as reducing the likelihood of good treatment outcomes, comorbid substance use in patie…
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