Psychopathological Symptoms Assessed by a System-Specific Approach Are Related to Global Functioning in Schizophrenic Disorders

Fabian U. Lang, Annabel S. Müller-Stierlin, Sebastian Walther, Thomas G. Schulze, Thomas Becker, Markus Jäger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: By mostly using a positive-negative approach, several studies have identified factors that influence day-to-day functioning. We applied a different, system-specific approach to expand the knowledge of this issue. Sampling and Methods: We recruited a sample of 100 inpatients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Psychopathological characteristics were assessed with the Bern Psychopathology Scale (BPS) and functional characteristics with the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale. Linear regression analyses were performed with the GAF score as the dependent variable and the global values of the BPS subscores as independent variables. The model was controlled for confounding variables. Spearman rank correlation analyses were used to identify associations between the relevant BPS subdomains and global functioning. Results: Higher absolute global values of the BPS domains language (p  =  0.038) and motor behavior (p  =  0.049) were significantly associated with lower GAF scores. These findings remained stable after adjusting for potential confounding variables. A statistically significant negative correlation was found between both qualitative symptoms (r  =  -0.273, p  =  0.006) and indirect signs (r  =  -0.269, p  =  0.007) of the language domain and GAF scores. Also, quantitative (r  =  -0.211, p  =  0.035) and qualitative symptoms (r  =  -0.214, p  =  0.033) in the motor behavior domain were associated with poorer functioning. Conclusions: A system-specific approach can describe subgroups of patients with poor functioning. Identifying such subgroups could help to utilize targeted treatment opinions in a timely manner. Another goal of future research is to clarify the underlying neurobiological deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 23 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Global functioning
  • Psychopathology#
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychopathological Symptoms Assessed by a System-Specific Approach Are Related to Global Functioning in Schizophrenic Disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this