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Prevalence and correlates of comorbidity 8 years after a first psychotic episode

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Farrelly S, Harris MG, Henry LP, Purcell R, Prosser A, Schwartz O, Jackson H, McGorry PD. Prevalence and correlates of comorbidity 8 years after a first psychotic episode. Objective: 

While rates and correlates of comorbidity have been investigated in the early course of psychosis, little is known about comorbidity in the medium-to-longer term or its relationship with outcome. Method: 

A total of 182 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients who met DSM-IV criteria for a current psychotic disorder 8 years after index presentation were grouped according to concurrent comorbidity [no concurrent axis I disorder; concurrent substance use disorder (SUD); other concurrent axis I disorder; concurrent SUD and other axis I disorder]. Outcomes were compared between groups controlling for relevant covariates. Results: 

As much as 39% met criteria for one or more concurrent axis 1 diagnoses. Comorbidity was associated with greater severity of general psychopathology, but not with measures of functioning, treatment or negative symptoms. Conclusion: 

Specific combinations of comorbid disorders may influence patterns of psychotic symptomatology. Routine examination of axis I disorders is warranted in the ongoing management of psychosis.

Keywords: axis I; comorbidity; first episode; outcome; psychosis; substance abuse

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: ORYGEN Research Centre & Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Parkville 2: Department of Psychology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: 2007-07-01

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