Objective: Multiple relapses over time are common in both affective and non-affective psychotic disorders. Characterizing the temporal nature of these relapses may be crucial to understanding the underlying neurobiology of relapse. Materials and Methods: Anonymized records of patients with affective and non-affective psychotic disorders were collected from SA Mental Health Data Universe and retrospectively analyzed. To characterize the temporal characteristic of their relapses, a relapse trend score was computed using a symbolic series-based approach. A higher score suggests that relapse follows a trend and a lower score suggests relapses are random. Regression models were built to investigate if this score was significantly different between affective and non-affective psychotic disorders. Results: Logistic regression models showed a significant group difference in relapse trend score between the patient groups. For example, in patients who were hospitalized six or more times, relapse score in affective disorders were 2.6 times higher than non-affective psychotic disorders [OR 2.6, 95% CI (1.8–3.7), p < 0.001]. Discussion: The results imply that the odds of a patient with affective disorder exhibiting a predictable trend in time to relapse were much higher than a patient with recurrent non-affective psychotic disorder. In other words, within recurrent non-affective psychosis group, time to relapse is random. Conclusion: This study is an initial attempt to develop a longitudinal trajectory-based approach to investigate relapse trend differences in mental health patients. Further investigations using this approach may reflect differences in underlying biological processes between illnesses.
- affective disorders