Monday, April 07, 2008

Early intervention for psychosis - long-term effects

Psychotic disorders lead to an increased risk for suicide, particularly during the early course of the illness. Up to a third of first-episode psychosis patients attempt suicide prior to commencing treatment and as many as 15% do so in the first 1-2 years of treatment. Early intervention and treatment for psychosis is, therefore, seen as very important. An Australian study of 7,760 people with psychosis aged between 15 and 29 found that 8.5 years after treatment there was no difference in suicide rates between those who had and had not received early intervention. However, after adjusting for other socio-demographic, clinical and treatment factors suicide risk was lower by 50%, in the first three years after treatment, for the group who had received early intervention. A history of inpatient treatment, more days of treatment per annum and a shorter time to establish a psychiatric diagnosis were all associated with an increased risk of suicide. People who weren't working but who weren't looking for a job either were at less risk than those who were unemployed and looking for work.

Harris, Meredith G. ... [et al] - Impact of a specialized early psychosis treatment programme on suicide. Retrospective cohort study Early Intervention in Psychiatry 2008, 2, 11-21

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