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An Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) programme aims to engage patients in early assessment and phase-specific interventions which are the key elements of the Irish National Clinical Programme for psychosis. This study aims to describe and review the EIP programme offered by Cork’s North Lee Mental Health Services over a 5-year period.
A retrospective descriptive study design was adopted to describe and review the EIP programme, patient demographics and treatments offered in the service over a 5-year period.
A total of 139 patients were accepted into the programme over the 5-year period. The mean age of onset was 30 years (median = 28, SD = 9.9), and the mean duration of untreated psychosis was 8 months (median = 2.5, SD = 15.3). Two-thirds of patients were single on initial assessment, had a history of substance misuse and were unemployed. The majority of the cohort engaged with the keyworkers and occupational therapy but did not complete the full psychological or family programmes offered. Hospital admission was required for 12% of the cohort.
Patients experiencing their first episode of psychosis can successfully be treated in the community with appropriate professional and family support. However, deficiencies were noted in physical health monitoring, as well as in the availability and engagement with family and psychological therapies. Properly resourced early interventions in psychosis teams are necessary to deliver services at internationally recognised standards.
Home-based crisis team (HBCT) in North Cork was established in 2013 to provide short term, intensive home treatment to people who are experiencing acute mental health problems, with the aim of averting hospital admission wherever possible or supporting patients discharged from hospital.
A retrospective descriptive study design was adopted to describe the activities of the North Cork HBCT over a 1 year period. Data were analysed using R version 3.4.0 for Windows.
A total of 388 patients were referred to the HBCT in 2015, of which 328 required assessments. General practitioners (GPs) made 56% of all referrals. The most common referral reason was low mood (40%). Stepped-up care to the psychiatric inpatient unit was required for 12.4% of patients, 62% were discharged to the outpatient clinic for routine follow-up.
Many common psychiatric presentations can be managed at home with the support of the HBCT although hospital admission is required for significant numbers.
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