Friday, August 17, 2012

Early Intervention in Psychosis Means Better Long-Term Outcome

A shorter duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) appears to act as a significant predictor of better outcome in schizophrenia even in the very long term, according to a report published online in the August 2 Annals of General Psychiatry.

Retrospective data obtained from clinical records were collected regarding duration of untreated psychosis and outcome variables (number of hospitalizations, number of attempted suicides, course of illness, Global Assessment of Functioning scores at last observation) for a cohort of 80 outpatients with schizophrenia (52 males, 28 females) at a university community mental health center.

Mean DUP was 49 months, with no significant difference according to gender. Patients with DUP of one year or less displayed more frequent “favorable” courses of illness, more frequent cases with three or fewer hospital admissions, and  better functioning. Statistical analyses confirmed that shorter DUP independently predicted a more positive outcome in terms of number of hospital admissions, course of illness, and functioning even when controlling for other possible confounding factors.

For more information on early intervention and long-term outcome, see Psychiatric News here.

(Image: Michael D. Brown/


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