Through decades the clinical recovery outcomes among individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia have been highly inconsistent ranging from 13.5% to 57%. The primary objective of this updated examination was to report the pooled estimate and explore various moderators to improve the understanding of the course of schizophrenia.
A systematic literature search was set up on PubMed, PsycInfo, and EMBASE until January 13th, 2022. Both observational and interventional studies among cohorts of individuals with the first episode of schizophrenia reporting on clinical recovery were included. The PRISMA 2020 statement was used and data was extracted for a random-effects meta-analysis, meta-regression, and sensitivity analyses. Risk of bias was assessed using The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
A 20.8% (95% CI = 17.3 to 24.8) recovery rate was found among 26 unique study samples (mean trial duration, 9.5 years) including 3877 individuals (mean age, 26.4 years). In meta-regression none of the following study characteristics could uncover the diverse reported recovery rates; age at inclusion (P = .84), year of inclusion (P = .93), follow-up time (P = .99), drop-out rate (P = .07), or strictness of the recovery criteria (P = .35). Furthermore, no differences in recovery were found between early intervention services (EIS; 19.5%; 95% CI = 15.0 to 24.8) compared to other interventions (21%; 95% CI = 16.9 to 25.8), P = .65.
A clinical recovery rate of approximately 21% was found with minimum impact from various moderators. The rate was not different comparing EIS with other interventions implying that new initiatives are needed to improve the rate of recovery.