The duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) - the time from the onset of psychotic symptoms to the start of adequate treatment - is one of the most important factors in the course of the condition and a shorter DUP has consistently been shown to correlate with a better course and outcome for all the symptoms of psychosis. Researchers in Scandinavia created a comprehensive, early-detection system for psychosis and launched a public information campaign in one area, and compared it to another area without early detection. The first-episode patients from the early-detection area had significantly lower DUP, better clinical status and milder negative symptoms at the start of the treatment. After a year there was still a difference in negative symptoms between the groups. After two years there were still differences in negative symptoms, depression and cognition between the two sets of patients.
Melle, Ingrid ... [et al] - Prevention of negative symptom psychopathology in first-episode schizophrenia: two-year effects of reducing the duration of untreated psychosis Archives of General Psychiatry June 2008, 65(6), 634-640