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Schizophreniform Disorder

Patients with schizophreniform disorder meet full criteria for schizophrenia, but the duration of illness is between one to six months.

DSM IV Diagnostic Criteria

The following criteria for schizophrenia must be met:

Two or more symptoms for one month. Symptoms may include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, or negative symptoms.

Schizoaffective disorder and mood disorder with psychotic features must be excluded.

Substance induced symptoms or symptoms from a general medical condition have been ruled out.

Symptomatology must last for at least one month, but less than six months schitzophreniform

Clinical Features of Schizophreniform Disorder

Symptomatology, including positive and negative psychotic features, is the same as schizophrenia.

Social and occupational functioning may or may not be impaired.


Lifetime prevalence of schizophreniform disorder is approximately 0.2%.

Prevalence is the same in males and females.

Depressive symptoms commonly coexist and are associated with an increased suicide risk.


Schizophreniform Disorder with Good Prognostic Features

Onset of psychosis occurs within four weeks of behavioral change.

Confusion often present at peak of psychosis.

Good premorbid social and occupational functioning.

Lack of blunted or flat affect.

Schizophreniform Disorder Without Good Prognostic Features

Absence of above features

Differential Diagnosis

The differential diagnosis is the same as for schizophrenia and includes psychotic disorder due to a general medical condition, delirium, or dementia.

Substance abuse, medication or toxic substances may cause symptoms that are similar to schizoaffective disorder.


Antipsychotic medication in conjunction with schitzophreniform