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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2002 Oct;106(4):265-75.

Duration of untreated psychosis and its correlates in first-episode psychosis in Finland and Spain.

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University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.



To examine the association of duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) with early course characteristics in first-episode psychosis in Finland and Spain.


Eighty-six patients from Finland (49) and Spain (37) were evaluated on various early course characteristics.


The mean value of DUP was 4.0 months (median 2 months) for the Finnish patients and 9.9 months (median 2 months) for the Spanish ones. In both groups, long DUP was associated with insidious onset, poor global functioning, and laboral incapability. Among the Finnish patients exclusively, long DUP correlated with a weak earlier social network, instability of professional identity, long duration of prodromal symptoms, psychological dependency on the family, and criticism by the parents of the patient. Among the Spanish patients only, longer DUP was associated with more severe positive symptoms at admission.


There are universal psychosocial factors influencing DUP, but also cultural differences may have an impact on the treatment delay.

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