Mode of onset of psychosis and family involvement in help-seeking as determinants of duration of untreated psychosis

  • Michael T. Compton
  • Victoria H. Chien
  • Amy S. Leiner
  • Sandra M. Goulding
  • Paul S. Weiss



The duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is a potentially modifiable determinant of the early course of nonaffective psychotic disorders, though a paucity of research has addressed determinants of DUP. Recent data from London and Nottingham, UK indicated that a shorter DUP was predicted by: (1) an acute mode of onset, (2) employment, and (3) active involvement of at least one family member in seeking evaluation (Morgan et al. Br J Psychiatry 189:446–452, 2006). The present analysis was conducted in an effort to replicate those findings in a predominantly low-income, urban, African American sample.


DUP and the three key predictors of interest were assessed using standardized procedures. All analytic plans replicated those of Morgan and colleagues (Morgan et al. Br J Psychiatry 189:446–452, 2006) to the largest extent possible. Sufficient information was available to rate DUP for 73 patients.


The median DUP was 23.4 weeks. Bivariate tests, survival analysis, and Cox regression revealed that an insidious mode of onset was associated with a substantially longer DUP compared with an acute onset, and that family involvement in help-seeking was independently associated with a longer duration.


While mode of onset is a reliable illness-related determinant of DUP, further research is needed on the complex ways in which family-related variables influence DUP.


duration of untreated psychosis mode of onset psychosis schizophrenia treatment delay 



This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (K23 MH067589). We wish to thank the ACES Project team members who participated in data collection, including Michelle Esterberg, Tandrea Carter, Erin Bergner, Lauren Franz, Tarianna Stewart, Kevin Tessner, and Hanan Trotman.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael T. Compton
    • 1
  • Victoria H. Chien
    • 1
  • Amy S. Leiner
    • 1
  • Sandra M. Goulding
    • 1
  • Paul S. Weiss
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of BiostatisticsRollins School of Public Health of Emory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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