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A disproportionate number of people with mental ill-health experience social exclusion. Appropriate measurement tools are required to progress opportunities to improve social inclusion. We have developed a novel measure, the Filia Social Inclusion Measure (F-SIM). Here we aimed to present a more concise, easy-to-use form, while retaining its measurement integrity by (i) refining the F-SIM using traditional and contemporary item-reduction techniques; and (ii) testing the psychometric properties of the reduced measure.
Five hundred and six participants completed the F-SIM, younger and older groups of people with serious mental illness (including psychosis, mood, anxiety disorders) and same-aged community counterparts. The F-SIM was completed at baseline and 2-week follow-up, alongside other measures (including social inclusion, loneliness). The F-SIM was refined using multidimensional scaling network analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and item response theory. The psychometric evaluation included assessment of dimensionality, internal consistency, test–retest reliability, discriminant ability and construct validity.
The F-SIM was reduced from 135-items to 16; with 4-items in each domain of housing and neighbourhood, finances, employment and education and social participation and relationships. Psychometric properties were sound, including strong internal consistency within domains (all α > 0.85) and excellent overall (α = 0.92). Test–retest reliability was also high (γ = 0.90). Differences between groups were observed; clinical subgroups consistently reported lower levels of social inclusion compared to community counterparts.
The F-SIM16 is a sound, reliable, brief self-report measure of social inclusion suitable for use in clinical and research settings. It has the potential to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, and aid in fostering targeted and personalised needs-based care.
High unemployment is a hallmark of psychotic illness. Individual placement and support (IPS) may be effective at assisting the vocational recoveries of young people with first-episode psychosis (FEP).
To examine the effectiveness of IPS at assisting young people with FEP to gain employment (Australian and Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12608000094370).
Young people with FEP (n = 146) who were interested in vocational recovery were randomised using computer-generated random permuted blocks on a 1:1 ratio to: (a) 6 months of IPS in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) or (b) TAU alone. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 6 months (end of intervention), 12 months and 18 months post-baseline by research assistants who were masked to the treatment allocations.
At the end of the intervention the IPS group had a significantly higher rate of having been employed (71.2%) than the TAU group (48.0%), odds ratio 3.40 (95% CI 1.17–9.91, z = 2.25, P = 0.025). However, this difference was not seen at 12- and 18-month follow-up points. There was no difference at any time point on educational outcomes.
This is the largest trial to our knowledge on the effectiveness of IPS in FEP. The IPS group achieved a very high employment rate during the 6 months of the intervention. However, the advantage of IPS was not maintained in the long term. This seems to be related more to an unusually high rate of employment being achieved in the control group rather than a gross reduction in employment among the IPS group.
Background: High quality randomized controlled trials (RCT) of psychotherapeutic interventions should ensure that the therapy being tested is what is actually delivered. However, contamination of one therapy into the other, a critical component of treatment adherence, is seldom measured in psychotherapy trials of psychosis. Aims: The aim of the study was to determine whether a purpose-designed measure, the ACE Treatment Integrity Measure (ATIM) could detect therapy contaminations within a controlled trial of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) versus Befriending for first-episode psychosis and to compare the ATIM to a more traditional adherence measure, the Cognitive Therapy Scale (CTS). Method: Therapy sessions were audio-recorded and at least one therapy session from 53 of the 62 participants in the RCT was rated by an independent rater using the CTS and ATIM. Results: Ninety-nine therapy sessions were rated. All Befriending sessions and all but three CBT sessions were correctly identified. The ATIM showed that 29 of the 99 (29%) sessions were contaminated by techniques from the other therapy. Within the CBT sessions, 19 of the 51 sessions (37%) were contaminated by one or more Befriending techniques. Of the Befriending sessions, 10 of 48 (21%) were contaminated by ACE techniques. The mean CTS score was higher in the CBT than the Befriending group. Conclusions: The ATIM was able to detect contaminations and revealed more meaningful, fine-grained analysis of what therapy techniques were being delivered and what contaminations occurred. The study highlights the benefit of employing purpose-designed measures that include contamination when assessing treatment adherence.
In recent years there has been increasing interest in functional recovery in the early phase of schizophrenia. Concurrently, new remission criteria have been proposed and several studies have examined their clinical relevance for prediction of functional outcome in first-episode psychosis (FEP). However, the longitudinal interrelationship between full functional recovery (FFR) and symptom remission has not yet been investigated. This study sought to: (1) examine the relationships between FFR and symptom remission in FEP over 7.5 years; (2) test two different models of the interaction between both variables.
Altogether, 209 FEP patients treated at a specialized early psychosis service were assessed at baseline, 8 months, 14 months and 7.5 years to determine their remission of positive and negative symptoms and functional recovery. Multivariate logistic regression and path analysis were employed to test the hypothesized relationships between symptom remission and FFR.
Remission of both positive and negative symptoms at 8-month follow-up predicted functional recovery at 14-month follow-up, but had limited value for the prediction of FFR at 7.5 years. Functional recovery at 14-month follow-up significantly predicted both FFR and remission of negative symptoms at 7.5 years, irrespective of whether remission criteria were simultaneously met. The association remained significant after controlling for baseline prognostic indicators.
These findings provided support for the hypothesis that early functional and vocational recovery plays a pivotal role in preventing the development of chronic negative symptoms and disability. This underlines the need for interventions that specifically address early psychosocial recovery.
Psychotic illness is managed and treated with best results when it is recognized at the earliest stages of a person developing the disorder, or when that person is identified as being at high risk of doing so. Describing a stage-specific model highlighting the risk, the clinical and biological factors present during the development of the illness, and the best treatments available for each of these stages, this new edition will guide practitioners and researchers in the adoption of carefully planned management strategies fully integrating treatment with prevention. Issues such as resistance to drugs and vocational recovery are covered, with related topics such as service organization and community education. This will be essential reading for all those involved in the care of people with early psychotic illness, or those responsible for the organization of services.