Retrospective analysis was made of 13 young adult schizophrenics who had maintained good outcome from 2½ to 5½ years. Data was obtained from psychiatric history, discharge summary, therapist's progress notes, nursing notes, and follow-up questionnaire. Information was then compiled on onset and nature of psychosis, signs of early psychopathological condition, premorbid social functioning, clinical course, and follow-up.
Though symptoms picture and duration of illness were variable, there was striking homogeneity in clinical course. Four phases were observed: (1) phase of internal disorganization, (2) phase of postpsychotic regression, (3) middle phase of postpsychotic regression, and (4) termination of regression. Features of these phases are described with suggestions for phase-appropriate management and therapy. Follow-up data indicates that most patients presently live alone and few have continued in intensive psychotherapy.