The British Journal of Psychiatry


Of 253 patients from nine medical centres identified with first episodes of schizophrenic illness, 17 did not achieve discharge during the period of trial recruitment. 120 entered a randomised controlled trial of neuroleptic medication and were followed-up, as were 116 who were eligible for the trial but did not enter it. Overall, 60% of the sample had relapsed within two years of discharge; age, sex, ethnic origin, duration of admission, social withdrawal before admission, and type of onset of illness were not significantly related to relapse. Relapse rates were lower on active trial or standard medication than placebo, but however assessed, outcome at this early stage was poor for many patients.