Forty-four schizophrenic patients were followed up for five years after their first admission to hospital for a first episode of illness. Thirteen (30%) of 43 patients had not relapsed; 28 of the 30 patients who did relapse did so within the first 42 months. The relapses occurred despite antipsychotic drug therapy. Also, 24% of patients had at least one course of ECT. Only 19% of the patients at five years were in open employment; unemployment was strongly associated with relapse. Eighteen per cent had neither relapses nor schizophrenic symptoms at follow-up. Poor outcome at five years was associated with greater psychological distress among relatives at first admission. At five years 43% of relatives continued to show case level psychological stress.