Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

The Suffolk County Mental Health Project: demographic, pre-morbid and clinical correlates of 6-month outcome

E. J. Brometa1 c1, L. Jandorfa1, S. Fenniga1, J. Lavellea1, B. Kovasznaya1, R. Rama1, M. Tanenberg-Karanta1 and T. Craiga1

a1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY, USA


The diagnostic specificity and predictive utility of the classical prognostic indicators in schizophrenia were examined in psychotic patients enrolled in the Suffolk County Mental Health Project. First-admission psychotic patients with schizophrenia (N = 96), major depression (N = 42), and bipolar disorder (N = 64) drawn from 10 facilities in Suffolk County, New York, were assessed during their initial hospitalization and at 6–month follow-up. Longitudinal consensus diagnoses were determined after the 6-month interview. The diagnostic groups shared similar background characteristics, but schizophrenics had poorer pre-morbid adjustment, longer periods of psychosis before hospitalization and more negative symptoms initially. Except for rehospitalization, schizophrenics had the worst and bipolars the best functioning at follow-up. Among the classical prognostic indicators, the best predictor of 6-month outcome for each diagnostic group was premorbid functioning.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Evelyn J. Bromet Department of Psychiatry Putnam Hall-South Campus State University of New York Stony Brook NY 11794–8790 USA.