The Northern Ireland early onset psychosis study: Phenomenology and co-morbidity in the first 25 cases

K. Fulton, M. Short, D. Harvey-Smith, T. Rushe, C. Mulholland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Diagnosing psychotic disorders in young people is difficult. High rates of co-morbidity may be one reason for this difficulty, but it may also be the case that current diagnostic categories are not the most useful when approaching the care of young people with psychotic symptoms. The Northern Ireland Early Onset Psychosis Study is the first study to investigate psychotic disorders in children and adolescents in this region. Young people presenting with psychotic symptoms with onset before their 18th birthday were prospectively ascertained over a three-year period (2001-2004). Those who provided informed consent were subject to a diagnostic interview using the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia - Present and Lifetime Version. Twenty-five young people have completed the full assessment process to date. Ten young people met criteria for schizophrenia, 11 for affective psychosis, two for schizoaffective disorder and two for schizophreniform disorder. Twenty-one (80%) subjects also fulfilled criteria for at least one other DSM-IV diagnosis. In conclusion, whilst all subjects met criteria for one or other psychotic disorder, co-morbidity was common in this clinical sample. Greater awareness of the difficulties encountered when trying to reach a diagnosis in this age group may help to improve treatment outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-216
Number of pages10
JournalChild Care in Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2008

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Community and Home Care
  • Pediatrics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education
  • Health(social science)


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