Long-term course of acute brief psychosis in a developing country setting

E. Susser, V. K. Varma, S. K. Mattoo, M. Finnerty, R. Mojtabai, B. M. Tripathi, A. K. Misra, N. N. Wig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This study in North India compared acute brief psychosis - defined by acute onset, brief duration and no early relapse - with other remitting psychoses, over a 12-year course and outcome. Method: In a cohort of incident psychoses, we identified 20 cases of acute brief psychosis and a comparison group of 43 other remitting psychoses based on two-year follow- up. Seventeen people (85%) in the acute brief psychosis group and 36 (84%) in the comparison group were reassessed at five, seven and 12 years after onset, and were rediagnosed using ICD-10 criteria. Results: At 12-year follow-up, the proportion with remaining signs of illness was 6% (n=1) for acute brief psychosis versus 50% (n=18) for the comparison group (P=0.002). Using ICD-10 criteria, the majority in both groups were diagnosed as having schizophrenia. Conclusions: Acute brief psychosis has a distinctive and benign long-term course when compared with other remitting psychoses. This finding supports the ICD-10 concept of a separable group of acute and transient psychotic disorders. To effectively separate this group, however, the ICD-10 criteria need modification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-230
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberSEPT.
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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