The evaluation and management of patients with first-episode schizophrenia: a selective, clinical review of diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis

Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2007 Sep-Oct;15(5):189-211. doi: 10.1080/10673220701679804.


Patients who present with a first episode of psychosis pose many challenges to psychiatry. While some morbidity from schizophrenia is probably not modifiable once acute psychosis has occurred, the best management of this stage of illness nevertheless holds the promise of improving long-term outcomes. We review the clinical literature on first-episode psychosis to derive clinical guidance with regard to timely diagnosis and optimal pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatment. We describe the illness course and the prognosis for this acute phase of illness and the immediate, postpsychotic period.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenia / therapy*


  • Antipsychotic Agents