Predictors of outcome were identified for 163 patients with DSM-III
schizophrenia divided into three cohorts by length of follow-up interval:
0-9 years (N = 57), 10-19 years (N = 59), and 20 years or more (N = 47).
The most powerful variables predicting outcome differed between follow-up
intervals. Characteristics of premorbid functioning were most influential
in the first decade of follow-up, family functioning emerged as important
in the second decade, and family genetics influenced the third decade and
beyond. Signs and symptoms proved predictive in consistent ways for
midrange and longer-term outcomes. The results demonstrate significant
variability in both the type and strength of relevant predictors depending
on follow-up length.