Does early diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia lead to improved long-term outcomes?Author(s): Mark Agius, Sophie Butler,Clare Holt
Early intervention for psychosis services is a very important area of development in community mental health since it has the potential to improve long-term outcomes. Two types of early intervention services are described: those that work with patients who are in their first episode of psychosis and follow patients through the 3-year critical period, and those that are still experimental, which attempt to work within the prodrome in order to prevent psychosis developing. Here, we attempt to describe the general principles on which early intervention services are based, the interventions that such services carry out and the expected outcomes according to the latest literature. Finally, we speculate on how outcomes could be further improved by improving techniques of early intervention.