We aim to explore the impact of lengthy periods of active psychosis during early phases of illness on long-term functional outcome.
This is a prospective clinical study. We assessed the effect of the duration active psychosis in patients with a first-episode of nonaffective psychosis on long-term social functioning and functional recovery. The study consisted of a 3-year clinical follow-up and a functional evaluation performed after a 10-year period.
The sample consisted of 169 patients with a first-episode of non-affective psychosis. The duration of active psychosis after treatment (DAT) during the 3-year clinical follow-up acted as predictor of social functioning at the 10-year functional evaluation (Wald: 10.705; p = .001), but not of functional recovery. The duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) did not act as a predictor of any of the two long-term measures of functional outcome.
Active psychosis in early phases of the illness seems to be correlated to worst long-term functionality. In this study the duration of active psychosis after treatment (DAT) was a better predictor of long-term outcome than the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP). Reducing DAT should be considered an important objective for early intervention programs.
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