History of offending behavior in first episode psychosis patients: a marker of specific clinical needs and a call for early detection strategies among young offenders

Schizophr Res. 2015 Feb;161(2-3):163-8. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2014.09.078. Epub 2014 Nov 20.


Objectives: Previous literature suggests that early psychosis (EP) patients with a history of offending behavior (HOB) have specific clinical needs. The aims of this study were to assess: (1) the prevalence of HOB in a representative sample of EP; (2) the premorbid and baseline characteristics of patients with HOB, and (3) the potential differences in short-term outcome of such patients when compared to patients without HOB.

Methods: The Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre (EPPIC) admitted 786 EP patients between 1998 and 2000. Data were collected from patients' files using a standardized questionnaire. Data of 647 patients could be analyzed.

Results: HOB patients (29% of the sample) were more likely to be male with lower level of premorbid functioning and education, have used illicit substances and have attempted suicide. They presented with a more complex clinical picture and had poorer 18-month outcome. Most importantly, they had a significantly longer duration of untreated psychosis.

Conclusions: On the basis of the high prevalence and specific features of EP patients with HOB, our study confirms a need for additional research in this domain and for the development of specific treatment strategies. Most importantly, it suggests a need for the promotion of early detection strategies among the populations of young offenders, considering that some of them may be going through the early phases of a psychotic disorder and that reduction of treatment delay and provision of well adapted interventions may have a significant impact at numerous levels in such patients.

Keywords: Duration of untreated psychosis; Early psychosis; Offending behavior; Outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Crime / classification
  • Crime / psychology*
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Psychotic Disorders* / psychology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult