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Diagnostic trajectory, interplay and convergence/divergence across all 12 DSM-IV psychotic diagnoses: 6-year follow-up of the Cavan-Monaghan First Episode Psychosis Study (CAMFEPS)

  • T. Kingston (a1) (a2), P. J. Scully (a1), D. J. Browne (a1), P. A. Baldwin (a1), A. Kinsella (a2) (a3), V. Russell (a1) (a4), E. O'Callaghan (a3) and J. L. Waddington (a1) (a2)...



The boundaries of psychotic illness and the extent to which operational diagnostic categories are distinct in the long term remain poorly understood. Clarification of these issues requires prospective evaluation of diagnostic trajectory, interplay and convergence/divergence across psychotic illness, without a priori diagnostic or other restrictions.


The Cavan-Monaghan First Episode Psychosis Study (CAMFEPS), conducted using methods to attain the closest approximation to epidemiological completeness, incepts all 12 DSM-IV psychotic diagnoses. In this study we applied methodologies to achieve diagnostic reassessments on follow-up, at a mean of 6.4 years after first presentation, for 196 (97%) of the first 202 cases, with quantification of prospective and retrospective consistency.


Over 6 years, the 12 initial psychotic diagnoses were characterized by numerous transitions but only limited convergence towards a smaller number of more stable diagnostic nodes. In particular, for initial brief psychotic disorder (BrP), in 85% of cases this was the harbinger of long-term evolution to serious psychotic illness of diagnostic diversity; for initial major depressive disorder with psychotic features (MDDP), in 18% of cases this was associated with mortality of diverse causality; and for initial psychotic disorder not otherwise specified (PNOS), 31% of cases continued to defy DSM-IV criteria.


CAMFEPS methodology revealed, on an individual case basis, a diversity of stabilities in, and transitions between, all 12 DSM-IV psychotic diagnoses over 6 years; thus, psychotic illness showed longitudinal disrespect to current nosology and may be better accommodated by a dimensional model. In particular, a first episode of BrP or MDDP may benefit from more vigorous, sustained interventions.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Professor J. L. Waddington, Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin 2, Ireland. (Email:


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Diagnostic trajectory, interplay and convergence/divergence across all 12 DSM-IV psychotic diagnoses: 6-year follow-up of the Cavan-Monaghan First Episode Psychosis Study (CAMFEPS)

  • T. Kingston (a1) (a2), P. J. Scully (a1), D. J. Browne (a1), P. A. Baldwin (a1), A. Kinsella (a2) (a3), V. Russell (a1) (a4), E. O'Callaghan (a3) and J. L. Waddington (a1) (a2)...


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