The present study aimed to elucidate the effectiveness of clozapine treatment in reducing the disabling period of chronically ill schizophrenic patients by investigating their rehospitalization status. Of 232 schizophrenic patients with a history of clozapine use who were recruited from the clinic at Seoul National University Hospital, 117 were selected who had been followed up for more than 1 year with respect to rehospitalization. To obtain information about the period before the clozapine change, a chart review of these 117 patients was conducted. The number and length of hospitalizations of the patients significantly decreased after clozapine treatment compared to the same period before clozapine treatment. The hospital days per year of the patients were also decreased significantly after clozapine introduction. By analysing 38 patients who were followed up for more than 5 years, it was suggested that the decrease in the number and length of hospitalizations was substantially sustained for up to 5 years after clozapine treatment. This study showed that the number and length of hospitalizations are significantly decreased by long-term clozapine treatment and that this effect can positively affect the social outcome of schizophrenic patients.
aDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science and Institute of Human Behavioral Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul
bDepartment of Psychiatry, Yong-in Mental Hospital, Gyeonggi-Do
cClinical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul
dDepartment of Psychiatry, Gachon Medical School Gil Medical Center, Incheon, South Korea
Correspondence and requests for reprints to Yong Sik Kim, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-Dong, Chongno-Gu, Seoul, 110-799, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 2072 2204; fax: +82 2744 7241;
Received 24 October 2004 Accepted 24 February 2005