Review: Anhedonia in Acute Schizophrenia

There is an article in the African Journal of Psychiatry by Sarkar and colleagues titled ‘Anhedonia in Acute Schizophrenia’ and which is freely available here. The researchers examined the relationship between anhedonia and depression in people with schizophrenia. The researchers used several outcome measures

– The Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale

– The 11-item Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia

– The Physical Anhedonia Scale

– The Social Anhedonia Scale

The concepts of social and physical anhedonia are discussed and to some extent it is useful to ask whether social relationships and general perceptual experiences have a different anhedonic mechanism or instead share the same ‘pathway’. 40 male inpatients with schizophrenia were included and the results are shown in Table 1. In their findings, the researchers report that they found no correlation between the physical anhedonia scale and the depression items but such a correlation was identified for the social anhedonia scale. They concluded that the physical anhedonia scale can be usefully considered as an independent characteristic of schizophrenia because of its independence from the depression scale. However there might be expected to be a correlation between the Physical Anhedonia Scale scores and the PANSS subscale scores which was not demonstrated in this case suggesting independence even from the principal features of schizophrenia. The researchers recommend further replication with an equal gender distribution and they generate a novel and interesting hypothesis.

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