The International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia

The International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia. Leff, J.Psychological Medicine, 22 (1992):131-145.

The first World Health Organization study that compared schizophrenia outcomes in “developed” and “developing” countries was called The International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia. It began in 1968 and involved 1202 patients in nine countries. At both two-year and five-year follow-ups, the patients in the poor countries were doing much better. The researchers concluded that schizophrenia patients in the poor countries “had a considerably better course and outcome than (patients) in developed countries. This remained true whether clinical outcomes, social outcomes, or a combination of the two was considered.” Two-thirds of the patients in India and Nigeria were asymptomatic at the end of five years. The WHO investigators, however, were unable to identify a variable that explained this notable difference in outcomes. See pages 132, 142, 143 of Mad In America.

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