Schizophrenia is today considered a neurodevelopmental disorder. It manifests itself early in life in the form of subtle neurological and psychopathological symptoms (e. g. cognitive deficits). The next stage of a pathological process can be “at risk mental state” with subthreshold psychotic symptoms and deterioration in social and cognitive functioning. Referring to the neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia, our team has developed a preventive programme addressed to the persons who are already at higher risk for schizophrenia, i.e. the first degree relatives of schizophrenic patients. We would like to present the contents and methods of realisation of the programme. The programme is addressed to 12-18 years old children and siblings of schizophrenic patients. It will operate in 4 major areas:
1. Data collection and monitoring of selected parameters (socio-demographic and family data, obstetric history, childhood psychomotor development, level of psychosocial stress, schizoid-schizotypal personality traits, psychosocial and cognitive functioning)
2. Regular assessment of mental state (every 6 months) including screening towards “at risk mental state” for psychotic disorders
3. Prevention strategies (psychoeducation, stress management strategies, family therapy, drug misuse therapy, crisis intervention if needed)
4. Therapeutic interventions (CBT, cognitive remediation, pharmacological interventions)
The programme can be a source of information regarding risk factors for developing a psychotic disorder. It will also deliver data for estimating efficacy of different intervention strategies. For individuals “at risk” for psychosis participation in the programme may possibly prevent transition into psychotic disorder or give an opportunity for early intervention and reduction of DUP.