Rate and risk factors of depressive symptoms in Chinese patients presenting with first-episode non-affective psychosis in Hong Kong

Wing Chung Chang (Corresponding Author), Rowan Cheung, Christy Lai Ming Hui, Jingxia Lin, Sherry Kit Wa Chan, Edwin Ho Ming Lee, Eric Yu Hai Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Depressive symptoms are a distinct symptom dimension in psychotic disorders and are associated with elevated suicide risk, and poorer clinical and functional outcomes. Previous research on depressive symptoms mainly focused on chronic patients and few studies were conducted to investigate factors associated with depression in the early illness course. We aimed to examine the prevalence and risk factors of depressive symptoms, and their impacts on functioning, subjective quality of life (QoL) and self-efficacy in first-episode non-affective psychosis. Method: Three hundred fifty-one Hong Kong Chinese aged 26-55. years presenting with first-episode non-affective psychosis to early intervention service were recruited. Assessments encompassing sociodemographics, premorbid adjustment, clinical and treatment profiles, functioning, QoL and perceived self-efficacy were conducted. Patients who had Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS) total score ≥. 6 were classified as having depressive symptoms. Results: Fifty-three (15.1%) patients exhibited depressive symptoms at entry. Depressed patients had worse functioning, poorer QoL and lower level of self-efficacy than non-depressed counterparts. Multivariate regression analysis showed that previous exposure to stressful life events, unemployment, being married, more severe positive symptoms, higher level of antipsychotic-induced Parkinsonism and negative attitude towards medication treatment were independently associated with depression status. Conclusions: Depressive symptoms were frequently observed in adult patients with first-episode nonaffective psychosis, and were linked to poor functioning and QoL. Our findings indicated that, aside from social and clinical risk factors, presence of drug-induced Parkinsonism and negative treatment attitude may render patients more vulnerable to developing depression in the early stage of psychotic illness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6517
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Depressive symptoms
  • First-episode psychosis
  • Negative treatment attitude
  • Prevalence
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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