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Duration of untreated psychosis and social function: 1-year follow-up study of first-episode schizophrenia

  • Thomas R. E. Barnes (a1), Verity C. Leeson (a1), Stanley H. Mutsatsa (a1), Hilary C. Watt (a2), Sam B. Hutton (a3) and Eileen M. Joyce (a4)...

Abstract

Background

In first-episode schizophrenia, longer duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) predicts poorer outcomes.

Aims

To address whether the relationship between DUP and outcome is a direct causal one or the result of association between symptoms and/or cognitive functioning and social functioning at the same time point.

Method

Symptoms, social function and cognitive function were assessed in 98 patients with first-episode schizphrenia at presentation and 1 year later.

Results

There was no significant clinical difference between participants with short and long DUP at presentation. Linear regression analyses revealed that longer DUP significantly predicted more severe positive and negative symptoms and poorer social function at 1 year, independent of scores at presentation. Path analyses revealed independent direct relationships between DUP and social function, core negative symptoms and positive symptoms. There was no significant association between DUP and cognition.

Conclusions

Longer DUP predicts poor social function independently of symptoms. The findings underline the importance of taking account of the phenomenological overlap between measures of negative symptoms and social function when investigating the effects of DUP.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits noncommercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Professor Thomas R. E. Barnes, Department of Psychological Medicine, Division of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, St Dunstan's Road, London W6 8RF, UK. Email: t.r.barnes@imperial.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of Interest

None.

Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes

References

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Duration of untreated psychosis and social function: 1-year follow-up study of first-episode schizophrenia

  • Thomas R. E. Barnes (a1), Verity C. Leeson (a1), Stanley H. Mutsatsa (a1), Hilary C. Watt (a2), Sam B. Hutton (a3) and Eileen M. Joyce (a4)...

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Duration of untreated psychosis and social function: 1-year follow-up study of first-episode schizophrenia

  • Thomas R. E. Barnes (a1), Verity C. Leeson (a1), Stanley H. Mutsatsa (a1), Hilary C. Watt (a2), Sam B. Hutton (a3) and Eileen M. Joyce (a4)...
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