The recognition of a prodromal period preceding the onset of frank psychosis dates back to its first descriptions. Despite insights gained from a prospective approach to the study of the Clinical High Risk syndrome for psychosis (CHR-P), a prospectively-based understanding of the duration of the psychosis prodrome and the factors that may influence is not well-established. Here we analyze data from the second North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS-2) to characterize prodrome duration in those who converted to psychosis. Of the 764 participants identified as being at CHR-P, 94 converted to psychosis and 92 of these had recorded estimates of prodrome onset. Estimates of prodrome duration were derived from CHR-P syndrome onset and conversion dates from the Structured Interview for Psychosis-risk Syndromes. Results identified a mean prodrome duration of 21.6 months. Neither CHR-P sub-syndrome nor medication exposure was found to significantly influence prodrome duration in this sample. These results provide the most precise estimate of prodrome duration to date, although results are limited to prodromes identified by ascertainment as being at CHR-P. Our findings also suggest a rule of thirds with regard to prodrome duration in those followed for two years: one third of CHR-P patients who convert will do so by 1 year after CHR-P syndrome onset, another third 1-2 years after onset, and the final third more than 2 years after onset.
Keywords: Clinical high risk; Duration; Prodrome; Psychosis.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Conflict of interest statement
Declaration of competing interest No conflicts of interest.
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