Background We evaluate the impact of a group-based, transitional, psychosocial programme, within a comprehensive service (the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre, EPPIC), on recovery from first-episode psychosis.
Method Individuals using the service (and meeting study criteria) were assessed on a range of symptom and functioning instruments at entry, after 6 weeks and 6 months. Participants received comprehensive case management and services according to their identified needs. Thirty-four people who had attended the group programme were compared at 6 month follow-up with 61 EPPIC patients who had not attended.
Results The people attending the group programme had a lower level of premorbid adjustment than the comparison group, and a trend towards exhibiting a higher level of negative symptoms, prior to commencing the group programme. However, at 6 month follow-up, no significant differences were found between the groups.
Conclusions Involvement in the group programme may have had a positive impact on a subgroup of EPPIC subjects with poor level of premorbid adjustment, by providing a ‘holding pattern’ in the critical period following the emergence of first-onset psychosis, and thus prevented deterioration and the development of disability.