European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 341–350

Early-onset schizophrenia

A 15-year follow-up

DOI: 10.1007/s00787-005-0483-6

Cite this article as:
Röpcke, B. & Eggers, C. Europ.Child & Adolescent Psych (2005) 14: 341. doi:10.1007/s00787-005-0483-6


The study describes the psychopathological and social outcome of patients treated for schizophrenia in adolescence (mean age at onset 16.0 years/SD 1.52) after a mean follow-up period of 15.4 years (10.2–21.2 years). Out of 55 patients consecutively admitted to hospital, 47 (85 %) could be traced and 39 (71 %) could be re-examined.

At follow-up, 33/39 patients (85 %) had had at least one readmission. Full remission of global psychopathological symptoms [Clinical Global Impression (CGI) ≤ 2] was found in 3/39 (8 %),a moderate outcome (CGI=3–5) in 22/39 (56 %), and a poor outcome (CGI=6–8) was seen in 14/39 (36 %). Severe or very severe impairments of global social functioning [Global Assessment of Social Function (GAS)< 51] were observed in 20/39 (51 %). The best predictor of global psychopathological and psychosocial outcome was type of onset (CGI: Beta=0.36, GAS: Beta=–0.37). A poor outcome was seen in 22 out of 25 cases with insidious onset. All predictors together explained 58% of the variance in the Positive and Negative Syndrome (PANSS) negative symptom ratings at follow-up. Gender, duration of first inpatient treatment and duration of untreated psychosis were of no predictive value for outcome. The nature of the diagnosis in the first episode strongly predicted the diagnosis given for the whole course after 15 years. In 26/37 cases (70 %), diagnosis at onset and overall diagnoses were the same. Our finding of an incidence of 61% insidious onset is similar to that in adult onset schizophrenia (AOS), but different to very early onset schizophrenia (VEOS), which shows a higher rate of insidious onset, cognitive impairment and poor outcome. Therefore, it seems that VEOS is a special group compared with early onset schizophrenia (EOS) and AOS.

Key words

early onset schizophrenia adolescent onset schizophrenia long-term follow-up prediction diagnostic stability 

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie des Kindes- und JugendaltersRheinische Landes- und Hochschulklinik EssenEssenGermany
  2. 2.Clinic for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity of EssenEssenGermany