Negative symptoms in first-episode psychosis: Clinical correlates and 1-year follow-up outcomes in London Early Intervention Services

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Abstract

Aim:

Negative symptoms (NS) have been associated with poor outcome and remain difficult to treat in patients with psychosis. This study examined the association of NS with clinical features at first presentation to mental health services for psychosis and with outcomes at 1-year follow-up.

Methods:

Clinical data were utilized from five London Early Intervention Services (EIS) included in the MiData audit database. The sample comprised 484 first-episode psychosis patients with complete Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale data at baseline and 1-year follow-up. Multiple imputation (N = 50) was conducted to account for missing follow-up data.

Results:

Baseline NS were associated with male gender (B = −1.63, P < .05), younger age at onset (B = −.15, P <. 05), a higher level of impairment on the Global Assessment of Functioning (disability) Scale at baseline (B = −.19, P <. 010), an absence of reported substance misuse prior to baseline assessment (B = −3.05, P <. 001) and unemployment at baseline (B = −.93, P <. 01). At 1-year follow-up, NS at presentation were associated with worse Global Assessment of Functioning Scale for symptom (B = −.28, P < .01) and disability (B = −.27, P <. 05) and with hospital admission (OR = 1.06, P < .01).

Conclusions:

Negative symptoms at presentation to EIS were associated with worse functioning at entry and poorer outcomes 1 year later. Future research is required to better understand the aetiology and trajectories of NS in early psychosis and propose novel targeted interventions.

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