Clinical implication of smoking among patients with schizophrenia at a Tertiary Institution in South East Nigeria
Background: The chronic and debilitating nature of schizophrenia creates a disease with marked clinical and economic consequences. Smoking in schizophrenia appears to be associated with increased psychopathology and disability.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine if cigarette smoking in schizophrenia is associated with increased disability and psychopathology.
Materials and methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study in which 367 out-patients with International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 10 diagnosis of schizophrenia were recruited. Socio-demographic questionnaire, Present State Examination (PSE) 10, Positive And Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS) were administered. Data was analyzed using a software package SPSS version 15.
Results: There was no significant difference in the mean PANSS scores of smokers and non-smokers. Current smoking was associated with increased disability (F=5.39, p=0.02). Total PANSS score significantly predicted disability F(3,71=5.60, p=0.002, R2=0.19). There was no significant association between positive or negative symptoms and being a smoker or non-smoker.
Conclusion: The results of this study revealed that smoking in Nigerian schizophrenia patients is associated with significant disability. Measures should be put in place to discourage cigarette smoking among Nigerian patients with schizophrenia.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, smoking, psychopathology, disability, Nigeria.