Association between family history of psychiatric disorders and long-term outcome in schizophrenia - The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study

Psychiatry Res. 2017 Mar;249:16-22. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.12.040. Epub 2016 Dec 27.


Family history of psychiatric disorders has been associated with impaired outcome in schizophrenia, but very few studies have investigated its long-term social and occupational outcome. We investigated the association of family history of psychiatric disorders, especially psychosis, with long-term social, occupational, clinical and global outcome in schizophrenia. The study sample comprises of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. Cohort members with psychosis were detected by Finnish national registers. Altogether 69 individuals with schizophrenia spectrum diagnosis participated, mean age 43, after on average 17 years since onset of illness. The information regarding family history of psychiatric disorders were gathered from registers and interviews. A Strauss-Carpenter Outcome Scale, PANSS and SOFAS were conducted to assess the outcome. Results showed that the family history of any psychiatric disorder was associated with more severe positive and emotional symptoms in PANSS. The family history of psychosis was not associated with outcomes. These findings suggest that family history of psychiatric disorders has a small association with outcome in schizophrenia. Despite family history of psychosis being a strong risk factor for schizophrenia, after years of illness it does not seem to affect outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / genetics*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychotic Disorders / genetics*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*