In the last two decades, both early detection (ED) and early intervention (EI) programs and services have gradually become important and innovative components of contemporary mental health care. However, it is unclear whether ED/EI programs have consistently been implemented throughout Europe.
Here, we report results of the EPA Survey on ED/EI Programs in Europe in 2016.
A 16 item questionnaire was sent to representatives (presidents and secretariats) of 40 EPA National Societies/Associations (NPAs), representing 37 countries. The representatives were also invited to recommend a person for additional information about ED/EI services/programs in the country.
The response rate was 59.4% (22 NPAs). Fifteen out of 28 NPAs were from developed, and 7 out of 8 from economies in transition. ED/EI services have been implemented in 54.5% of the included countries, mean duration 10.0 ± 4.9 yrs. Mostly, neither ED were separated from EI, not the adults from adolescents. National plans to develop ED/EI were reported in four countries. Although national guidelines for schizophrenia exist in most of the countries (73.9%), specific chapters focusing on ED/EI and/or at-risk mental states were not included in the majority of them. Duration of untreated psychosis was unknown in 63.6%. In those who gave the estimation it was 12–100 weeks (median in weeks: 33 developed economies; 44 economies in transition).
The fields of ED/EI have been unequally developed across Europe. Still, many NPAs are without the development plans. EPA and its Sections should address the identified gaps and suggest how to harmonize services for the full range of assessments and interventions.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.