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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2006 Apr;113(4):332-9.

Treatment delay and response rate in first episode psychosis.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.



There is no consistent evidence of long duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) predicting long time to response (TTR) in first psychosis. This study aims to investigate the predictors of DUP and TTR in a first episode patient population.


An epidemiologically representative sample of 157 non-affective first psychotic episode patients was interviewed and followed-up for at least half a year.


The mean DUP was 46 weeks, the median 31 days. Long DUP was associated with being unemployed before treatment and male gender. Short DUP, having a job, and living with a partner before treatment predicted early response.


Early intervention likely improves short-term treatment response in first episode psychosis. The best strategy to reduce DUP probably is to direct attention to the substantial number of patients who do not engage in regular treatment.

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