Short-term functional outcome and premorbid adjustment in clinical high-risk patients. Results of the EPOS project

R. K. R. Salokangas*, M. Heinimaa, T. From, E. Loyttyniemi, T. Ilonen, S. Luutonen, J. Hietala, T. Svirskis, H. G. von Reventlow, G. Juckel, D. Linszen, P. Dingemans, M. Birchwood, P. Patterson, F. Schultze-Lutter, S. Ruhrmann, J. Klosterkoetter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose: In patients with schizophrenia, premorbid psychosocial adjustment is an important predictor of functional outcome. We studied functional outcome in young clinical high-risk (CHR) patients and how this was predicted by their childhood to adolescence premorbid adjustment. Methods: In all, 245 young help-seeking CHR patients were assessed with the Premorbid Adjustment Scale, the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) and the Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument (SPI-A). The SIPS assesses positive, negative, disorganised, general symptoms, and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), the SPI-A self-experienced basic symptoms; they were carried out at baseline, at 9-month and 18-month follow-up. Transitions to psychosis were identified. In the hierarchical linear model, associations between premorbid adjustment, background data, symptoms, transitions to psychosis and GAF scores were analysed. Results: During the 18-month follow-up, GAF scores improved significantly, and the proportion of patients with poor functioning decreased from 74% to 37%. Poor premorbid adjustment, single marital status, poor work status, and symptoms were associated with low baseline GAF scores. Low GAF scores were predicted by poor premorbid adjustment, negative, positive and basic symptoms, and poor baseline work status. The association between premorbid adjustment and follow-up GAF scores remained significant, even when baseline GAF and transition to psychosis were included in the model. Conclusion: A great majority of help-seeking CHR patients suffer from deficits in their functioning. In CHR patients, premorbid psychosocial adjustment, baseline positive, negative, basic symptoms and poor working/schooling situation predict poor short-term functional outcome. These aspects should be taken into account when acute intervention and long-term rehabilitation for improving outcome in CHR patients are carried out.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-380
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Premorbid adjustment
  • Clinical high risk
  • Functional outcome

Cite this