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Long-term effects of a community intervention for early identification of first-episode psychosis

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Cassidy CM, Schmitz N, Norman R, Manchanda R, Malla A. Long-term effects of a community intervention for early identification of first-episode psychosis. Objective: 

To assess whether an Early Case Identification Program (ECIP) for first-episode psychosis (FEP), which showed no significant short-term effects, has a delayed impact on duration of untreated psychosis (DUP). Method: 

Using a historical control design, FEP patients were assessed on clinical variables over three consecutive phases, 2 years prior, 2 years during and 3 years after implementation of the ECIP. Additional analyses were conducted on non-affective and schizophrenia spectrum psychoses cases only. Results: 

There was no overall significant difference in DUP across the three phases. For cases treated within the first year of illness a nonsignificant reduction in DUP to less than 2 months observed during the active phase was sustained post-ECIP. Conclusion: 

In some jurisdictions community-wide early case detection may fail to have an immediate or delayed effect on DUP, especially for cases who normally present for treatment with DUP >1 year.

Keywords: case detection; duration of untreated psychosis; schizophrenia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, Montréal, Quebec 2: Department of Psychiatry, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: June 1, 2008


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