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Br J Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;189:235-40.

Untreated illness and outcome of psychosis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University College Dublin, and Stanley Resuearch Unit, Cluain Mhuire Family Centre, St John of God Adult Psychiatric Service, Dublin, Ireland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There has been controversy as to whether early intervention in psychosis can improve the outcome of the disorder.

AIMS:

To establish if there is an association between duration of untreated psychosis and the 4-year outcome of persons with a first episode of psychosis.

METHOD:

Prospective naturalistic follow-up study of the outcome of consecutive first presentations with DSM-IV psychosis attending a community-based psychiatric service.

RESULTS:

A longer duration of untreated psychosis was associated with a significantly poorer functional and symptomatic outcome 4 years later. For schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder, each increment in duration of untreated psychosis was associated with a 7.8 point decrease in global functioning and an increase in positive symptoms scores by 1.9 points.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study extends the findings of short-term follow-up studies by confirming an association between duration of untreated psychosis and 'mid-term' outcome.

PMID:
16946358
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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