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Engrami
2010, vol. 32, iss. 4, pp. 35-44
article language: Serbian
document type: Original Scientific Paper
published on: 10/11/2010
Duration of untreated psychosis: The definition, the description and relation to the illness outcome
aClinical Centre 'Zvezdara', Belgrade
bClinical Center of Serbia, Clinic for Psychiatry, Belgrade + University of Belgrade, Faculty of Medicine

e-mail: nadamaric@yahoo.com

Abstract

The concept of duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) attracted much interest during the last decade because of its possible relationship to treatment outcome and implications for prevention of psychotic disorders, especially schizophrenia. In this paper we explain the components of DUP and review methodological problems of DUP assessment. Additionally, we summarize the literature concerning the concept and its importance. Evidence suggests that duration of untreated psychosis may be related to ease of reducing psychotic symptoms once treatment begins for first episode patients, and there is some evidence of a relationship to likelihood of relapse. Also, investigation of the relationship of DUP to other long-term outcomes such as negative symptoms and cognitive functioning were shown. It is important that there should be more thorough investigations of DUP, its correlates, and the extent to which it does mediate any advantages of earlier intervention. Assessment of DUP in our surrounding is strongly recommended as an essential component of early psychosis programs.

Keywords

duration of untreated psychosis; schizophrenia; early intervention; methodology

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