Dr Rashmi Patel from the Department of Psychosis Studies will be awarded a research prize on 12 March 2016 by the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) for his recent BMJ Open paper: 'Negative symptoms in schizophrenia: a study in a large clinical sample using a novel automated method’.Four prizes are awarded annually by the EPA to young researchers working in the field of psychiatry, in order to recognise the best peer-reviewed psychiatric research in Europe. Dr Patel’s study, which was published in September 2015, identified a link between the negative symptoms experienced by people with schizophrenia and adverse clinical outcomes. He used the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) application, a text-mining tool, to analyse anonymised patient data on negative symptoms from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Case Register. Natural Language Processing (NLP) was used to detect statements within the clinical records which determined references to specified negative symptoms. 10 negative symptoms were identified, including poor motivation, blunted or flattened mood, poor eye contact, emotional withdrawal, poor rapport, social withdrawal, poverty of speech (excessively short speech with minimal elaborations), inability to speak, apathy and concrete thinking (the inability to think in abstract terms). Dr Patel and his colleagues found that 41 per cent of patients showed the presence of two or more negative symptoms. Negative symptoms across the sample were associated with an increased likelihood of hospital admission, longer duration of admission and an increased likelihood of re-admission following discharge from hospital. To find out more about EPA research prizes, visit the EPA website.
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