Objective: To examine the contribution of premorbid function, duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), age of onset, severity of symptoms at presentation, and number of subsequent hospitalisations to the outcome of early onset schizophrenia (EOS; onset before 17th birthday).
Method: Twenty-three EOS patients (mean age at onset 15.16 +/- 1.39 years) were re-assessed after a mean interval of 4 +/- 1.08 years. At baseline and follow-up clinical diagnoses were confirmed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders and symptoms were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Premorbid function, as measured with the Premorbid Adjustment Scale, age of onset and DUP were assessed at baseline only. Outcome was evaluated using the Social Adaptation Self-Evaluation Scale (SASS) and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale.
Results: Mean DUP was 2.95 +/- 3.59 months and mean total PAS score was 6.65 +/- 3.02. They had an average of 2.09 +/- 1.44 hospitalisations and their mean SASS and GAF scores were 37.27 +/- 6.5 and 54.19 +/- 18.99, respectively. Poor childhood premorbid function and the severity of negative symptoms at baseline were correlated with worse SASS and GAF scores. No other significant associations were found.
Conclusions: Poor childhood function is the most significant predictor of outcome in EOS.