Prediction of remission and recovery in young people presenting with first-episode psychosis in Hong Kong: A 3-year follow-up study

Department of Psychiatry, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.41). 02/2012; 46(2):100-8. DOI: 10.1177/0004867411428015
Source: PubMed


The aim of the current study was to investigate the rates and predictors of symptomatic remission and recovery in patients presenting with first-episode psychosis 3 years after treatment initiation.
Seven hundred participants aged 15-25 years consecutively enrolled in a territory-wide early intervention programme in Hong Kong from July 2001 to August 2003 fulfilled study inclusion criteria, with 539 completing 3-year follow-up. Baseline and follow-up variables were collected via systematic medical file review. The operational criteria for recovery were based on clinical definition incorporating both symptom and functional dimensions.
By the end of 3-year follow-up, 58.8% (n = 317) and 17.4% (n = 94) of participants met criteria for symptomatic remission and recovery, respectively. Around half (51.2%, n = 276) were not remitted either symptomatically or functionally in the last 12 months of follow-up. Of those who achieved sustained symptomatic remission, only 43.1% were also in functional remission. Patients in symptomatic remission had lower rate of admissions, shorter duration of hospitalisations and more favourable psychosocial functioning than non-remitted counterparts. Logistic regression analysis revealed that female sex, older age of onset of psychosis, shorter duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and early symptom resolution predicted symptomatic remission at the end of follow-up. Higher educational attainment, superior baseline occupational status and shorter DUP were found to be predictive of recovery.
In a large representative cohort of Chinese young people presenting with first-episode psychosis, although more than half achieved symptomatic remission 3 years after service entry, the rates of functional remission and recovery were low. More intensive psychosocial interventions may be required to further improve patients' functional outcome.

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    • "Studies into predictors of recovery in first episode psychosis have consistently found better pre-morbid functioning (Petersen et al., 2008; Bobes et al., 2009; Wunderink et al., 2009; Albert et al., 2011) lower levels of psychopathology at baseline and shorter duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) (Jeppesen et al., 2008; Wunderink et al., 2009; Chang et al., 2012a; Verma et al., 2012) have been associated with higher rates of recovery. Other factors that have been associated with recovery include better cognition and less depressive symptoms at baseline (Bobes et al., 2009; Faber et al., 2011), higher levels of education at baseline (Chang et al., 2012b; Verma et al., 2012), early response to treatment (Verma et al., 2012; Schennach et al., 2012), "
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    • "The literature regarding the independent role of education in the presentation of individual positive symptoms is sparse. In general, the available literature suggests that higher levels of education can be protective due to greater cognitive resources and more advanced coping strategies (Austin et al., 2013; Chang et al., 2012; Jonsson and Nyman, 1984; Verma et al., 2012; Wieselgren and Lindstrom, 1996). It has also been suggested, however, that greater abstract thinking ability may intensify the presentation of some ideational psychotic processes (Chen et al., 1997). "
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    • "However, we would contend, even if elevated metacognitions are a result of hallucinatory experiences, it does not rule out the possibility that some metacognitions remain elevated after the first episode and potentially contribute to subsequent vulnerability . In order to determine if metacognitive beliefs significantly contribute to course of illness, this study will control for a range of factors known to potentially impact on psychotic symptoms such as gender, age, duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and substance abuse (Perkins et al. 2005; Jeppesen et al. 2008; Chang et al. 2012; Leung and Chue 2000; Albert et al. 2011; Verma et al. 2012). This study will also control for factors that can influence metacognitive beliefs such as co-morbid anxiety and depression (Varese and Bentall 2011). "
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