Factors contributing to the duration of untreated psychosis

S. Y. Apeldoorn*, B. Sterk, E. R. van den Heuvel, R. A. Schoevers, M. A. Islam, R. Bruggeman, W. Cahn, L. de Haan, R. S. Kahn, C. J. Meijer, I. Myin-Germeys, J. van Os, D. Wiersma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Shortening the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) - with the aim of improving the prognosis of psychotic disorders - requires an understanding of the causes of treatment delay. Current findings concerning several candidate risk factors of a longer DUP are inconsistent. Our aim was to identify factors contributing to DUP in a large sample that represents the treated prevalence of non-affective psychotic disorders. Method: Patients with a non-affective psychotic disorder were recruited from mental health care institutes from 2004 to 2008. Of the 1120 patients enrolled, 852 could be included in the present analysis. Examined candidate factors were gender, educational level, migration status, premorbid adjustment and age at onset of the psychotic disorder. DUP was divided into five ordinal categories: less than one month, one month to three months, three months to six months, six months to twelve months and twelve months and over. An ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to identify the risk factors of a longer DUP. Results: Median DUP was less than one month (IQR 2). The factors migration status (p = 0.028), age at onset of the psychotic disorder (p = 0.003) and gender (p = 0.034) were significantly associated with DUP in our analysis. Conclusion: First generation immigrant patients, patients with an early onset of their psychotic disorder and male patients seem at risk of a longer DUP. These findings can assist in designing specific interventions to shorten treatment delay.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-81
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Duration of untreated psychosis
  • DUP
  • Migration status
  • Age at onset
  • Gender

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