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Schizophr Bull. 2000;26(4):801-16.

The psychosocial outcome of adolescent-onset schizophrenia: a 12-year followup.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Schizophr Bull 2001;27(2):following table of contents.


This study examines the educational/occupational outcome and social situation of patients treated for schizophrenia in adolescence (age at admission 11.5-17.9 years; mean 16.0 years). Out of 96 consecutively admitted patients between 1976 and 1987, 85 (89%) could be traced and 65 (68%) were reassessed more than 10 years after the first episode. At followup, 54 of the 65 (83%) had had at least one further inpatient-treated episode and 48 (74%) were receiving psychiatric treatment. Thirty-seven (57%) of the subjects were at least moderately impaired with respect to vocational functions (i.e., did not achieve their premorbid educational/occupational goals). Serious social disability was found in 42 (66%) of the 64 subjects for whom social disability data were available. Regarding means of maintenance, 49 (75%) were financially dependent, supported by parents or public assistance. Impairments were comparable for males and females. History of treatment (longer duration of inpatient stay; more than two inpatient episodes) was found to be predictive of lower vocational functioning at followup. Severity of positive symptoms and more than two inpatient episodes in the early course of illness predicted social disabilities in young adulthood. Findings support the view that, because of early onset, the long-term perspective for many adolescent-onset schizophrenia patients is that of poor social adjustment, severe functional impairment, and high socioeconomic dependence and suggest that consequences are more severe than in adult-onset schizophrenia.

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