, Volume 41, Issue 10, pp 761-770
Date: 09 Aug 2006

Social network among young adults with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorders

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Abstract

Background

Social network has considerable impact on physical and mental health. Patients experiencing first-episode psychosis early in adult life may experience severe problems concerning development and maintenance of their social network.

Methods

A total of 547 first-episode psychotic patients (18–45) were randomised to standard or integrated treatment, (ACT, social skills training and family intervention), and followed up at 2 years.

Results

Service use or psychotic symptom score did not influence the social network size, measured after the first 2 years of treatment. Small network size was associated with long duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), poor premorbid adjustment, male gender and severe negative symptoms. The number of friends at 2-year follow-up was predicted by age, A-level status, negative symptoms and number of friends at entry, while the determinants for number of family contacts were age, gender, disorganised dimension and family contacts at entry.

Conclusions

Premorbid functioning, network size at entry and DUP is closely related to small social network size. The integrated psychosocial treatment programme was not sufficient to address this problem.