Diagnostic Stability of ICD/DSM First Episode Psychosis Diagnoses: Meta-analysis

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Background: Validity of current International Classification of Disease/Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (ICD/DSM) first episode psychosis diagnoses is essential in clinical practice, research, training and public health. Method: We provide a meta-analytical estimate of prospective diagnostic stability and instability in ICD-10 or DSM-IV first episode diagnoses of functional psychoses. Independent extraction by multiple observers. Random effect meta-analysis conducted with the "metaprop," "metaninf," "metafunnel," "metabias," and "metareg" packages of STATA13.1. Moderators were tested with meta-regression analyses. Heterogeneity was assessed with the I 2 index. Sensitivity analyses tested robustness of results. Publication biases were assessed with funnel plots and Egger's test. Findings: 42 studies and 45 samples were included, for a total of 14 484 first episode patients and an average follow-up of 4.5 years. Prospective diagnostic stability ranked: schizophrenia 0.90 (95% CI 0.85-0.95), affective spectrum psychoses 0.84 (95% CI 0.79-0.89), schizoaffective disorder 0.72 (95% CI 0.61-0.73), substance-induced psychotic disorder 0.66 (95% CI 0.51-0.81), delusional disorder 0.59 (95% CI 0.47-0.71), acute and transient psychotic disorder/brief psychotic disorder 0.56 (95% CI 0.62-0.60), psychosis not otherwise specified 0.36 (95% CI 0.27-0.45, schizophreniform disorder 0.29 (95% CI 0.22-0.38). Diagnostic stability within schizophrenia spectrum psychoses was 0.93 (95% CI 0.89-0.97); changes to affective spectrum psychoses were 0.05 (95% CI 0.01-0.08). About 0.10 (95% CI 0.05-0.15) of affective spectrum psychoses changed to schizophrenia spectrum psychosis. Across the other psychotic diagnoses there was high diagnostic instability, mostly to schizophrenia. Interpretation: There is meta-analytical evidence for high prospective diagnostic stability in schizophrenia spectrum and affective spectrum psychoses, with no significant ICD/DSM differences. These results may inform the development of new treatment guidelines for early psychosis and impact drug licensing from regulatory agencies.




Fusar-Poli, P., Cappucciati, M., Rutigliano, G., Heslin, M., Stahl, D., Brittenden, Z., … Carpenter, W. T. (2016). Diagnostic Stability of ICD/DSM First Episode Psychosis Diagnoses: Meta-analysis. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 42(6), 1395–1406. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbw020

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