Aim: The aim of this study was to compare clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes between children with Childhood-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders (COSS) and children with other severe non-psychotic psychiatric conditions (non-COSS), all admitted to a national mental health inpatient children's unit. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of all children discharged from a national children's inpatient unit in the United Kingdom, between 2009 and 2018. We compared functional and treatment outcomes and satisfaction with treatment in COSS with non-COSS in the whole sample and separately for male and female patients. Results: A total of 211 children (55% boys) were included in the sample. The mean age on admission was 129.7 months (10.8 years; age range, 6-12).Twenty cases were diagnosed with COSS (9.5%). In the whole sample, COSS patients had significantly lower Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS) scores on admission compared to non-COSS (P =.006). There was a trend towards children with COSS as a group having a longer admission (M = 194.6 days, SD = 125.4) compared to non-COSS (M = 135.8 days, SD = 86.2), (P =.053). Females with COSS seemed to have more significant differences compared to females with non-COSS, in particular, longer admissions (P =.016) and worse CGAS scores at discharge (P =.04), whilst in males, these differences seemed to be attenuated. Conclusions: Children with COSS have lower functioning at the point of inpatient admission and possibly longer admissions, but similar satisfaction with treatment at discharge from hospital compared with non-COSS. Females with COSS may have worse functional outcomes compared to non-COSS at discharge.
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