Objective: To examine the variables that influence of duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) prior to presentation in persons with a first episode of psychosis.
Method: Prospective examination of consecutive first presentations with DSM-IV psychosis attending a community based psychiatric service.
Results: One hundred and seventy-one patients had an average duration of untreated psychosis of 18 months and a median of five months. The mean duration of untreated mania was 1.5 months, median 0.75 months. DUP was predicted by social withdrawal and diagnosis in the total group and by prodrome in the schizophrenia/schizophreniform group. DUP was not associated with age at onset of psychosis, educational years or living status.
Conclusions: There are significant differences in DUP between diagnostic groups. Increased social withdrawal is associated with a longer DUP.