A 16-year follow-up study of schizophrenia and related disorders in Sofia, Bulgaria


Kimon Ganev, WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health, 15, Dimitar Nestorov Street, Floor 11, Room 26, 1431 Sofia, Bulgaria


A total of 60 patients with functional non-affective psychoses were assessed 16 years after their inclusion in the WHO co-ordinated study on reduction and assessment of psychiatric disability. All patients at inclusion had a recent onset of a psychotic disorder. About one-third of the patients had a good outcome. The rest showed moderate to severe psychiatric symptoms and social disability. Comparison with other similar studies suggested that our results show a low mortality rate, high levels of clinical symptoms, high levels of social disability and a low percentage of institutionalized patients. These findings are discussed in the context of the high level of family involvement in patients' care, which could reflect a cultural factor.