Background: Remission criteria were proposed by Andreasen et al. for classifying patients with schizophrenia according to the severity of psychopathology. Up to the present time, there have been no cohort studies exploring the association between remission status and employment outcomes in patients with schizophrenia. The study explored whether symptomatic remission is significantly associated with employment outcomes in a two-year longitudinal study. Methods: All 525 stable patients with schizophrenia in the therapeutic community of a public mental hospital in Taiwan were recruited between 2013 and 2015. Employment outcomes, defined as the cumulative on-the-job duration (months/per year) and income (new Taiwan dollars, NT$/per year), were investigated at the end of 1- A nd 2-year follow-up periods after enrollment. For repeated measurements, linear mixed models were constructed to examine the association between symptomatic remission and employment outcomes after controlling for potential confounding variables including age, sex, education, type and daily dose of antipsychotics, cognitive function, psychosocial functioning and initial employment type. Results: The average age of patients was 51.8 years, and 65.3% were males. Among them, 124 patients (23.6%, 124/525) met the remission criteria at baseline. The linear mixed-model analysis showed that patients who had symptomatic remission were employed 0.8 of a month longer (p = 0.029) and earned NT$3250 more (p = 0.001) within 1 year than those who did not show symptomatic remission. Conclusion: Our study suggests that assessing symptomatic remission is a useful part of monitoring treatment effectiveness for schizophrenia, and all strategies targeting the bio-psycho-social domains to attain symptomatic remission are paramount to maintaining favorable employment outcomes.
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