Psychiatry Investig.  2017 Jan;14(1):93-99. 10.4306/pi.2017.14.1.93.

Design and Methodology of the Korean Early Psychosis Cohort Study

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Eulji University School of Medicine, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Eulji University School of Medicine, Eulji General Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Republic of Korea.
  • 7Department of Psychiatry, Inje University College of Medicine, Goyang, Republic of Korea.
  • 8Department of Psychiatry, Korea University College of Medicine, Guro Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 9Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 10Department of Psychiatry, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Republic of Korea.


The present study details the rationale and methodology of the Korean Early Psychosis Cohort Study (KEPS), which is a clinical cohort investigation of first episode psychosis patients from a Korean population. The KEPS is a prospective naturalistic observational cohort study that follows the participants for at least 2 years. This study includes patients between 18 and 45 years of age who fulfill the criteria for one of schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders according to the diagnostic criteria of DSM-5. Early psychosis is defined as first episode patients who received antipsychotic treatment for fewer than 4 consecutive weeks after the onset of illness or stabilized patients in the early stages of the disorder whose duration of illness was less than 2 years from the initiation of antipsychotic treatment. The primary outcome measures are treatment response, remission, recovery, and relapse. Additionally, several laboratory tests are conducted and a variety of objective and subjective psychiatric measures assessing early life trauma, lifestyle pattern, and social and cognitive functioning are administered. This long-term prospective cohort study may contribute to the development of early intervention strategies and the improvement of long-term outcomes in patients with schizophrenia.


Schizophrenia and psychotic disorder; Cohort; Early intervention; First episode psychosis; KEPS
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