A prolonged duration of untreated illness (DUI) has been indicated as a negative prognostic factor of clinical outcome in schizophrenia(1),affective(2) and anxiety disorders(3). The present study analyzes DUI in anxiety/mood disorders. Study sample included 729 patients:181 Major Depressive Disorder, 115 Bipolar I Disorder, 186 Bipolar II Disorder, 100 Generalized Anxiety Disorder, 96 Panic Disorder and 51 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The main demographic and clinical (age at onset, age at first treatment, DUI) variables were compared between groups using oneway ANOVA, t-tests or chi-squared tests. DUI was defined as the interval between the onset of the disorder and the first adequate treatment.Patients with MDD showed a shorter DUI (F= 25.159; p> 0.0001) whereas patient with BDII showed a longer DUI (F= 12.680; p> 0.0001) compared to the other groups. Present findings indicate that patients with affective/anxiety disorders present significant differences in DUI. It is of clinical interest to assess the extent to which delays until beginning an appropriate treatment influence the course of these disorders.
1. Altamura AC, Bassetti R, Sassella F, Salvatori D, Mundo E. Duration of untreated psychosis as a predictor of outcome in first-episode schizophrenia: a retrospective study. Schizophr Res, 2001; 52 (1-2): 29-36.
2. Altamura AC, Dell'Osso B, Mundo E, Dell'Osso L. Duration of untreated illness in major depressive disorder: a naturalistic study. Int J Clin Pract 2007 b, 61(10): 1697-700.
3. Altamura AC, Santini A, Salvadori D, Mundo E. Duration of untreated illness in panic disorders: a poor outcome risk factor? Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment 2005, 1(4): 345-347.