The Psychiatric Symptom Rating Scales (PSYRATS) have demonstrated their usefulness for the dimensional assessment of hallucinations and delusions. However, there is no evaluated German version of the PSYRATS to date. Also, in spite of theoretical conceptions about "detaching" effects of antipsychotics, there are few consolidated findings about how core symptomatic aspects of schizophrenia change during antipsychotic treatment. The present study aimed to fill this gap. A total of 40 schizophrenic voice-hearers were interviewed three times during the course of six months using a newly developed German version of the PSYRATS with very good psychometric properties. At the same time, psychopathology was assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). In the longitudinal course, a general symptomatic decrease became apparent only for auditory hallucinations but not for delusions. Specifically, the loudness of the hallucinated voices as well as the associated distress decreased early, while other aspects of the hallucinations took more time to fade. In this study, the PSYRATS proved to be a valuable tool for measuring the change of specific symptom dimensions. However, our results only partially supported the notion of a general detachment from symptoms due to psychiatric treatment.
- Symptom dimensions