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Early Intervention Critical in Schizophrenia

July 31, 2018

"A recent meta-analysis of 10 studies found that early intervention after a first episode of psychosis or in the early stages of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder led to better patient outcomes than treatment as usual.The meta-analysis by researcher Christoph U. Correll and colleagues appeared in the journal JAMA Psychiatry in 2018. The 10 studies that were included had randomized a total of 2,176 patients to receive either treatment as usual or early intervention services, which typically include efforts at early detection of symptoms, early treatment with low doses of antipsychotic medication, interventions to prevent relapse, and strategies to help patients return to normal work and social activities.Those patients who received early intervention services were less likely to discontinue treatment, were less likely to have a psychiatric hospitalization, were more involved in school or work, and had less severe symptoms, including both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.The authors called for better funding and implementation of early intervention services in early psychosis or the beginning stages of schizophrenia.

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