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Ethnic variations have previously been identified in the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and pathways into psychiatric services. These have not been examined in the context of early intervention services, which may alter these trajectories.
To explore ethnic differences in the nature and duration of pathways into early intervention services.
In a naturalistic cohort study, data were collected for 1024 individuals with psychotic disorders accepted for case management by eight London early intervention services.
Duration of untreated psychosis was prolonged in the White British group compared with most other ethnic groups. White British individuals were more likely to make contact with their general practitioner and less likely to be seen within emergency medical services. All Black patient groups were more likely than their White British counterparts to experience involvement of criminal justice agencies.
Variations continue to exist in how and when individuals from different ethnic groups access early intervention services. These may account for disparities in DUP.
To explore why and how on-site urine drug testing is performed in in-patient settings. Data were collected by questionnaire in four acute psychiatric wards.
The most commonly cited reasons for testing were suspected drug use and as a routine part of the admission procedure. On-site testing was typically favoured over laboratory methods owing to the rapid turnaround of results and ease of use. In 81% of cases the result of the tests had no effect on immediate management. the majority of staff had not received formal training in their use.
Clinical use of on-site drug tests does not reflect their established limitations. Guidance is required to direct staff in the use of this commonly used assessment tool.