Project details


Gender differences in first episode psychosis

psychiatry Gender First Episode Psychosis

I.E.C. Sommer
B. Brand
M. Begemann

Nature of the research:
Quantitative research on the differences between men and women with regard to different aspects of psychosis.

Fields of study:
psychiatry Patient Related Research

Background / introduction
Heterogeneity exists in clinical presentation, disease course, and response to both pharmacological and psychosocial treatment in first-episode psychosis. Many of these aspects may be related to gender. For example, age of onset is lower in men and women present higher rates of remission with lower relapse rates. Men are in general more socially isolated and experience more negative symptoms and are more likely to develop schizophrenia than women at a younger age. However, women predominate at older onset and duration of illness before treatment is longer in women. Furthermore, women are comparatively more heavily medicated than men and several studies reported that positive symptoms such as delusions and auditory hallucinations are more prevalent in women. These robust disparities in many aspects of psychosis/schizophrenia may indicate that women have a different disease pathogenesis that may determine the onset, course and remission of psychosis.
Research question / problem definition
In order to provide optimal treatment for both male and female patients, a better understanding of distinct disease patterns in women versus men is needed. This project aims to understand the role of gender with respect to the onset, course and remission of psychosis.
Baseline data of the HAMLETT study (Begemann et al., 2017) will be available for this project, consisting of a broad sample of remitted first episode psychosis patients. Information about onset and content of first psychosis may be used for analysis, as well as data on persistent symptoms, cognitive functioning and social functioning at remission.
Link to study-protocol:
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