December 1972

The Prediction of Outcome in SchizophreniaI. Characteristics of Outcome

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md
From the Psychiatric Assessment Section, Adult Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. Dr. Strauss is currently at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Medical Center, Rochester, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(6):739-746. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750300011002

This is the first of two reports of an investigation of predictors, diagnostic criteria, and outcome characteristics in 111 psychiatric admissions. Most of the patients would be considered schizophrenic by many criteria. Evaluation of outcome characteristics of this cohort indicates that outcome dysfunction is best considered as a continuum. The different areas of outcome dysfunction: work, symptoms, social relations, and duration of nonhospitalization, seem to operate as open systems, all partly interrelated and affected by psychiatric disorder but each area also affected by variables more specific to it alone. Although several diagnostic and classification systems were evaluated, the differences in outcome among different diagnostic groups were less striking than is often expected. These results indicate that outcome is a complex phenomenon, and that the ability of a diagnosis to predict a specific outcome has often been overstated.