First-Episode Psychosis: A Comparative Review of Diagnostic Evolution and Predictive Variables in Adolescents versus Adults
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OBJECTIVE: To review the diagnostic evolution and predictive variables of diagnosis and outcome in first-episode psychosis in adolescents (age 13-19 years) and adults. METHOD: Literature was reviewed through MEDLINE, Psycinfo, and PubMed, and supplemented by selected bibliographies. RESULTS: First-episode psychosis in the adolescent population has greater diagnostic instability than in adults. We identified trends in the predictive variables of diagnosis and outcome: 1) Premorbid adjustment (that is, personality) in adolescents and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) both before and after first-episode psychosis in adolescents and adults are the best predictors of diagnosis; 2) GAF (before and after) is the best predictor of outcome in both adolescents and adults. CONCLUSION: Adolescent-onset psychosis appears to be in continuity with adult-onset psychosis. The greater diagnostic instability in adolescents and the absence of significant data on predictive variables suggest a need for specialized and continuous care and research in the adolescent population.
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