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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2006 May;40(5):414-20.

Transition to psychosis: 6-month follow-up of a Chinese high-risk group in Hong Kong.

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Kwai Chung Hospital, New Territorries, Hong Kong SAR.



The identification of individuals at high risk of becoming psychotic within the near future creates opportunities for early intervention before the onset of psychosis. This study sets out to identify a group of symptomatic young people in a Chinese population with the high likelihood of transition to psychosis within a follow-up period of 6 months, and to determine the rate of transition to psychosis in this group.


Symptomatic individuals with a family history of psychotic disorder, sub-threshold psychotic symptoms or brief transient psychotic symptoms were identified using the operationalized criteria of an 'At Risk Mental State'. The individuals were prospectively assessed monthly on a measure of psychopathology for 6 months.


Eighteen out of 62 individuals (29%) made the transition to frank psychosis within a 6 month follow-up period, with the majority occurring within 3 months. In addition, significant differences were found in the intake Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Comprehensive Assessment of 'At Risk Mental State' and Global Assessment of Functioning scores between the group that ultimately became psychotic and the group that did not.


The period of the highest risk of transition to psychosis was within the 3 months after the study began. Thus, distressed youths in our outpatient clinic, who meet the high-risk criteria should be monitored most closely in the initial 3 months, particularly those individuals with high levels of psychopathology and functional decline.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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