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ICD–10 has introduced the diagnostic group acute and transient psychotic disorders (ATPDs; F23). Aims To validate the nosological distinctiveness of ICD–10 ATPDs by following up an inception cohort with first-episode psychosis. Method All patients with first-episode psychosis identified in Nottingham between 1992 and 1994 and diagnosed using ICD–10 criteria were reassessed 3 years later. ATPD outcomes were compared with schizophrenia and affective psychosis. Multivariate analyses were conducted to determine whether acute onset and early remission predicted favourable 3-year outcome in first-episode psychosis. Results Of 168 cases of first-episode psychosis, 32 (19%) received an intake diagnosis of ATPD. The diagnosis of ATPD was stable in women over 3 years, but not in men. Outcomes in ATPD were better than in schizophrenia and similar to affective psychosis. In non-affective psychoses, favourable outcomes were a function of gender and premorbid functioning rather than acute onset and early remission. Conclusions The ICD–10 criteria for ATPDs identify a diagnostically unstable group of disorders. Acute onset and early remission do not independently predict favourable outcome over 3 years in first-episode psychosis.
Little is known about predictors of hospitalisation in patients with first-episode psychosis.
To identify the pattern and predictors of hospitalisation of patients with a first psychotic episode making their first contact with specialist services.
Three-year follow-up of a cohort of 166 patients with a first episode of psychosis making contact with psychiatric services in Nottingham between June 1992 and May 1994.
Eighty-eight (53.0%) patients were admitted within 1 week of presentation; 32 (19.3%) were never admitted during the 3 years of follow-up. Manic symptoms at presentation were associated with an increased risk of rapid admission and an increased overall risk of admission; negative symptoms and a longer duration of untreated illness had an increased risk of late admission.
Community-oriented psychiatric services might only delay, rather than prevent, admission of patients with predominantly negative symptoms and a longer duration of untreated illness. First-episode studies based upon first admissions are likely to be subject to selection biases, which may limit their representativeness.
Recent research has reported increased risk of aggressive incidents by individuals with psychotic illness.
To examine acts of aggression in first-episode psychosis.
Subjects with a first-episode psychosis were ascertained from a defined catchment area (Nottingham, UK) and reassessed at 3 years (n=166) using clinical interview, informants, health care and forensic records.
Of the subjects, 9.6% demonstrated at least one act of serious aggression (defined as weapon use, sexual assault or victim injury) during at least one psychotic episode and 23.5% demonstrated lesser acts of aggression (defined as all other acts of aggression). For all aggressive subjects (33.1%), unemployment (OR=3.6, 95%CI 1.6–8.0), comorbid substance misuse (OR=3.1, CI 1.1–8.8) and symptoms of overactivity at service contact (OR=6.9, CI 2.7–17.8) had independent effects on risk of aggression.
We confirmed some previously reported demographic and clinical associations with aggression in first-episode psychosis but no relationship with specific psychotic symptoms or diagnostic groups was observed.
Changes in service provision, secular trends in substance misuse and changing social structures might affect outcome in psychosis.
To assess the three-year outcome of an inception cohort of first-episode psychoses treated in a modern, community-oriented service; to compare outcomes with an earlier cohort treated in hospital-based care; and to examine the predictive validity of ICD–10 diagnostic criteria.
Three-year follow-up (1995–1997) of an inception cohort of first-episode psychoses and comparison with two-year follow-up (1980–1982) of the Determinants of Outcome of Severe Mental Disorders (DOSMED) Nottingham cohort.
On most outcome measures, non-affective psychoses had a worse outcome than affective psychoses. Affective psychoses had better outcome than previously reported. Substance-related psychoses had very poor occupational outcome. Similar proportions of the current and DOSMED cohort were in remission but the former were rated as having greater disability.
In a modern community service, 30–60% of patients with first-episode psychoses experience a good three-year outcome. The ICD–10 criteria have good predictive validity.
The temporal stability of a diagnosis is one measure of its predictive validity.
To measure diagnostic stability in first-episode psychosis using ICD–10 and DSM–III–R.
Between 1992 and 1994 we ascertained a cohort of persons with first-episode psychosis (n=168), assigning to each a consensus diagnosis. At three-year follow-up, longitudinal consensus diagnoses, blind to onset diagnoses, were made. Stability was measured by the positive predictive values (PPVs) of onset diagnoses. For onset schizophrenia, we also calculated sensitivity, specificity and concordance (κ).
First-episode ICD–10 and DSM–III–R schizophrenia had a PPV of over 80% at three years. Over one-third of cases with ICD–10 F20 schizophrenia at three years had non-schizophrenia diagnoses at onset. Manic psychoses showed the highest PPV (91%). For onset schizophrenia, both systems had high specificity (ICD–10: 89; DSM–III–R: 93%), but low sensitivity (ICD–10: 64%; DSM–III–R: 51%) and moderate concordance (ICD–10: 0.54; DSM–III–R: 0.46).
Bipolar disorders and schizophrenia showed the highest stability. DSM–III–R schizophrenia did not have greater stability than ICD–10 schizophrenia.
An increased incidence of psychotic disorders has repeatedly been reported among African–Caribbeans in the UK.
To test whether the increased incidence of psychotic disorders in first-and second-generation African–Caribbeans in the UK could be caused by a relative excess of affective-related psychoses with good prognosis.
Thirty-three patients of African–Caribbean family origin identified in a population-based study of first-episode psychoses were compared with the remaining cases. Three-year outcomes and patterns of course were compared.
There was a trend for better outcomes in African–Caribbean patients for symptoms and social disability, but patterns of course were similar (odds ratio=0.9 (–0.50 to –2.00)). Pattern of course improved after adjustment for confounding by gender, social class, age, diagnosis and duration of untreated illness (odds ratio=0.59 (–0.21 to –1.66)). Diagnostic profiles were similar, with no evidence of greater diagnostic instability in the African–Caribbean group.
Pattern of course of psychosis did not differ significantly by ethnic family background. An excess of good-prognosis affective psychoses is an unlikely explanation for increased rates of psychosis in African–Caribbeans.