To assess the role of age (early onset psychosis-EOP < 18 years vs. adult onset psychosis-AOP) and diagnosis (schizophrenia spectrum disorders-SSD vs. bipolar disorders-BD) on the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and prodromal symptoms in a sample of patients with a first episode of psychosis. 331 patients with a first episode of psychosis (7–35 years old) were recruited and 174 (52.6%) diagnosed with SSD or BD at one-year follow-up through a multicenter longitudinal study. The Symptom Onset in Schizophrenia (SOS) inventory, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and the structured clinical interviews for DSM-IV diagnoses were administered. Generalized linear models compared the main effects and group interaction. 273 AOP (25.2 ± 5.1 years; 66.5% male) and 58 EOP patients (15.5 ± 1.8 years; 70.7% male) were included. EOP patients had significantly more prodromal symptoms with a higher frequency of trouble with thinking, avolition and hallucinations than AOP patients, and significantly different median DUP (91 [33–177] vs. 58 [21–140] days; Z = − 2.006, p = 0.045). This was also significantly longer in SSD vs. BD patients (90 [31–155] vs. 30 [7–66] days; Z = − 2.916, p = 0.004) who, moreover had different profiles of prodromal symptoms. When assessing the interaction between age at onset (EOP/AOP) and type of diagnosis (SSD/BD), avolition was significantly higher (Wald statistic = 3.945; p = 0.047), in AOP patients with SSD compared to AOP BD patients (p = 0.004). Awareness of differences in length of DUP and prodromal symptoms in EOP vs. AOP and SSD vs. BD patients could help improve the early detection of psychosis among minors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health