Background. The differential strength of correlation between symptoms, cognition and other patient characteristics with community functioning in first-episode psychosis has not been fully investigated.
Method. In a sample of 66 first-episode psychosis patients demographic variables, ratings of pre-morbid adjustment, positive and negative symptoms, duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and assessment of cognitive functions at baseline, and symptoms, cognitive functions and adherence to medication at 1 year, were correlated with scores on social relations and activities of daily living (ADL) (outcome) at 1 year. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to confirm the independent contribution of baseline and concurrent variables to functional outcome at 1 year.
Results. Scores on functioning related to social relations and ADL were both significantly correlated with pre-morbid adjustment, all dimensions of residual positive and negative symptoms and adherence to medication at 1 year. Scores on social relations were also modestly correlated with DUP and several cognitive measures at baseline and 1 year (verbal IQ, attention, visual memory, word fluency and working memory). Hierarchical regression confirmed independent contribution of pre-morbid adjustment, total residual symptoms and adherence to medication at 1 year for both dimensions of outcome, and psychomotor poverty and working memory for social relations.
Conclusions. In addition to pre-morbid adjustment potentially malleable variables such as level of residual (but not acute) symptoms, adherence to medication and cognitive deficits are likely to influence outcome on aspects of community functioning in individuals treated for first episode of psychosis.