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West London first-episode study of schizophrenia: Clinical correlates of duration of untreated psychosis

  • Thomas R. E. Barnes (a1), S. B. Hutton (a1), M. J. Chapman (a1), S. Mutsatsa (a1), B. K. Puri (a1) and Eileen M. Joyce (a1)...

Abstract

Background

Studies in schizophrenia suggest that a longer initial period of untreated illness is associated with a poorer clinical outcome.

Aims

To determine whether, in first-episode schizophrenia, a longer duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) or of untreated illness (DUI) (DUP plus any prodrome) is associated with clinical variables that could mediate a poor prognosis.

Method

Clinical, social, neuropsychological and oculomotor function data on 53 patients with first-episode schizophrenia were related to the DUP and DUI.

Results

Comparing short and long DUP groups split around the median showed no statistically significant differences (except age); patients in the latter group tended to perform worse on an executive attentional set-shifting task, and were more likely to be unemployed, and living alone or homeless.

Conclusions

There was little evidence of any association between either DUP or DUI and progressive deterioration in the schizophrenic illness or the development of resistance to initial drug treatment. Social variables that augur a poor prognosis may be associated with delayed presentation of schizophrenia to psychiatric services.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Thomas Barnes, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Neuroscience and Psychological Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, St Dunstan's Road, London W6 8RF, UK

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

Supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Footnotes

References

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West London first-episode study of schizophrenia: Clinical correlates of duration of untreated psychosis

  • Thomas R. E. Barnes (a1), S. B. Hutton (a1), M. J. Chapman (a1), S. Mutsatsa (a1), B. K. Puri (a1) and Eileen M. Joyce (a1)...

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West London first-episode study of schizophrenia: Clinical correlates of duration of untreated psychosis

  • Thomas R. E. Barnes (a1), S. B. Hutton (a1), M. J. Chapman (a1), S. Mutsatsa (a1), B. K. Puri (a1) and Eileen M. Joyce (a1)...
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