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The duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) has been associated with negative outcomes in psychosis; however, few studies have focused on the duration of active psychotic symptoms after commencing treatment (DAT). In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of DUP and DAT on functional long-term outcomes (3 years) in patients with early psychosis.
We evaluated the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS) at frequent intervals for 3 years after presentation to determine the DAT for 307 individuals with first-episode psychosis together with DUP and clinical variables. The functional outcomes were assessed using the Disability Assessment Scale (DAS) at three years, and functional recovery was defined as minimal impairment and return to activity. Associated variables, DAT and DUP were included in logistic regression models to predict functional outcomes. Receiver operating characteristic curves and Youden’s index were applied to assess the best cut-off values.
DAT, (Wald: 13.974; ExpB: 1.097; p < 0.001), premorbid adjustment, initial BPRS score, gender, age of onset and schizophrenia diagnosis were significant predictors of social functioning, whereas only premorbid adjustment (Wald: 11.383; ExpB:1.009), DAT (Wald: 4.850; ExpB: 1.058; p = 0.028) and education were significant predictors of recovery. The optimal cut-off of DAT for predicting social functioning was 3.17 months for DAT (sensitivity: 0.68; specificity: 0.64; Youden’s index: 0.314).
DAT is strongly related to functional outcomes independent of the DUP period or other variables. As a modifiable variable, the reduction of the DAT should be considered a main focus of intervention from the onset of the illness to improve long-term outcomes.
Neuroanatomical abnormalities in first-episode psychosis (FEP) tend to be subtle and widespread. The vast majority of previous studies have used small samples, and therefore may have been underpowered. In addition, most studies have examined participants at a single research site, and therefore the results may be specific to the local sample investigated. Consequently, the findings reported in the existing literature are highly heterogeneous. This study aimed to overcome these issues by testing for neuroanatomical abnormalities in individuals with FEP that are expressed consistently across several independent samples.
Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging data were acquired from a total of 572 FEP and 502 age and gender comparable healthy controls at five sites. Voxel-based morphometry was used to investigate differences in grey matter volume (GMV) between the two groups. Statistical inferences were made at p < 0.05 after family-wise error correction for multiple comparisons.
FEP showed a widespread pattern of decreased GMV in fronto-temporal, insular and occipital regions bilaterally; these decreases were not dependent on anti-psychotic medication. The region with the most pronounced decrease – gyrus rectus – was negatively correlated with the severity of positive and negative symptoms.
This study identified a consistent pattern of fronto-temporal, insular and occipital abnormalities in five independent FEP samples; furthermore, the extent of these alterations is dependent on the severity of symptoms and duration of illness. This provides evidence for reliable neuroanatomical alternations in FEP, expressed above and beyond site-related differences in anti-psychotic medication, scanning parameters and recruitment criteria.
The aim of the current study was to examine the heterogeneity of functional outcomes in first episode psychosis (FEP) patients and related clinical, neurocognitive and sociodemographic factors using a cluster analytic approach.
A large sample of FEP patients (N = 209) was functionally reassessed 10 years after the first contact with an early intervention service. Multiple baseline, 3-year and 10-year follow-up variables were explored.
The cluster analysis emphasized the existence of six independent clusters of functioning: one cluster was normal overall (42.16%), two clusters showed moderate interpersonal (9.63%) or instrumental (12.65%) deficits, two clusters showed more severe interpersonal (12.05%) or interpersonal and instrumental (13.85%) deficits and there was a significantly overall impaired cluster (9.63%). Cluster comparisons showed that several baseline and follow-up factors were differentially involved in functional outcomes.
The current study demonstrated that distinct clusters of functioning in FEP patients can be identified. The fact that a variety of profiles was observed contributes to a better understanding of the nature of the heterogeneity characterizing FEP patients and has clinical implications for developing individualized treatment plans.
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