OBJECTIVE: This study explored the incidence and stability of schizophrenia in a large national register data of all adolescents first admitted to psychiatric inpatient care at ages 13-17 in Finland 1980-2010.
METHODS: The study population (N 17,112) comprised all Finnish citizens aged 13-17 receiving their first ever psychiatric inpatient treatment between 1980 and 2010 in Finland. To explore incidence and stability of schizophrenia, the diagnostic information on inpatient care or disability pension was obtained from the appropriate registers.
RESULTS: The incidence of schizophrenia disorders (F20 + F25) during adolescence was higher in the study population for those admitted to psychiatric inpatient care 1980-1989 than in other decades examined. Overall, psychiatric inpatient care during adolescence was a risk factor for subsequent schizophrenia, especially if a diagnosis of F20-29 was set although a considerable share of those with psychotic disorders other than schizophrenia diagnosis did not subsequently convert to schizophrenia. The stability of adolescent onset schizophrenia diagnosis was high.
CONCLUSION: Adolescents requiring psychiatric inpatient care have a higher later rate of schizophrenia diagnosis than prevalence at community level. Whereas adolescent onset schizophrenia diagnosis is a fairly stable diagnosis, there are other adolescent psychotic disorders which are more transient in nature.
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