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Identification of young people at risk of psychosis

  • Sophie Parker and Shôn Lewis

Abstract

Operational criteria for detecting prodromal, or at-risk, mental states have been developed largely on the basis of individuals seeking help for attenuated or brief, self-limiting symptoms that do not meet threshold criteria for psychotic disorder. These individuals present largely to primary care and other non-specialist mental health settings. Follow-up studies have confirmed that 15–40% will make the transition to full psychosis within 12 months. Cognitive therapy alone or in combination with low-dose atypical antipsychotics has been shown to be efficacious in reducing or delaying the transition to psychosis, as well as in ameliorating the severity of non-psychotic symptoms and distress. Antipsychotic medication alone has not shown significant efficacy, but results are suggestive of some advantage from drug treatment. Further work is needed to clarify the relative merits of these interventions.

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References

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Identification of young people at risk of psychosis

  • Sophie Parker and Shôn Lewis
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