Repetitive behaviors in chronically institutionalized schizophrenic patients

Daniel J. Luchins*, Morris B. Goldman, Mark Lieb, Patricia Hanrahan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Repetitive dysfunctional behaviors (e.g., polydipsia, bulimia, hoarding, mannerisms) are frequently observed in chronically institutionalized schizophrenics, cause significant morbidity and are readily reproduced in animal models. The goal of this study was to assess the frequency and severity of these behaviors. Thirty-two chronic schizophrenics on an extended treatment unit were rated on the Elgin Behavioral Rating Scale, which includes eight repetitive behaviors and eight positive and negative symptoms. Forty-seven percent of the patients exhibited at least one severe, or 2 moderate, repetitive behaviors, while 63% exhibited at least one severe or 2 moderate positive or negative symptoms. The mean total score (±SD) on the eight repetitive behaviors (10.3±6.1) was about 2 3 that for the eight positive and negative symptoms (15.3±8.9, t = 4.1, p = .0001). Interrater reliability for the repetitive behaviors was similar to that for the positive and negative symptoms. Repetitive behaviors were positively related to male gender, white race and total length of hospitalization. Repetitive dysfunctional behaviors are frequently observed and can be reliably rated in chronically institutionalized schizophrenics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-123
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1992


  • (Schizophrenia)
  • Repetitive behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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