Since the outcome in schizophrenia is heterogeneous and often poor, identification of specific predictors of outcome would be useful in clinical practice.
Subjects with schizophrenic psychoses (n=103) included in the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort (n=12,058), representing the general population, were followed-up for an average of 16.4 years. Predictor and outcome data were collected from the nationwide Finnish Hospital Discharge Register, hospital records and interviews.
Insidious onset of illness predicted a rehospitalization due to psychosis in the 2 years after the initial discharge. Being single, having an early onset, insidious onset, suicidal ideations upon the first admission, a rehospitalization and a high number of treatment days due to psychosis in the early stages of the illness all predicted a poorer clinical outcome in the longer term, after a minimum follow-up of 10 years.
This population-based study indicates that clinical and sociodemographic factors around the onset of illness have significance for the long-term outcome in schizophrenia. These prognostic factors should be taken into account in clinical practice.