Early Intervention in Psychosis: Rationale and Evidence for Effectiveness
The recognition that the early phase of psychosis is a critical period in the long-term trajectory of psychosis has ignited the concept of early intervention and initiated a process of service reform and the development of new protocols for the management of psychosis, examples of which are discussed within this paper. This paradigm includes three components: reducing treatment delay at the first episode, early detection of emerging psychosis, and sustained intervention following the first diagnosis. This paper outlines the rationale for intervening early in the course of psychosis and highlights research that provides evidence of the benefits for outcome. We consider that the question is no longer whether or not we should intervene early in psychosis but what kind of intervention will improve early outcome. The evidence-base for this is developing and these key studies are reviewed.
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