Background : Despite considerable research investigating the relationship between a long duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and outcomes, there has been much less considering predictors of a long DUP.
Aims : To investigate the clinical and social determinants of DUP in a large sample of patients with a first episode of psychosis.
Method : All patients with a first episode of psychosis who made contact with psychiatric services over a 2-year period and were living in defined catchment areas in London and Nottingham, UK were included in the ÆSOP study. Data relating to clinical and social variables and to DUP were collected from patients, relatives and case notes.
Results : An insidious mode of onset was associated with a substantially longer DUP compared with an acute onset, independent of other factors. Unemployment had a similar, if less strong, effect. Conversely, family involvement in help-seeking was independently associated with a shorter duration. There was weak evidence that durations were longer in London than in Nottingham.
Conclusions : These findings suggest that DUP is influenced both by aspects of the early clinical course and by the social context.