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There is a developing body of research that suggests that there may be distinct categories of patients that can explain the relationship between psychosis and antisocial behaviours. Specifically, three pathways of offending, antisocial behaviour and psychosis have been described and there is an evolving empirical evidence base to suggest that these pathways are aetiologically distinct. Firstly, there is a pathway for early-start offenders, which have been identified as those with psychosis preceded by Conduct Disorder (SZ + CD). Secondly, a group that start to display antisocial behaviours in parallel to the onset of psychosis (SZ-AS). The third group involves those with a long history of a psychotic disorder and no history of antisocial behaviours, who will present to services following a first conviction for non-violent or violent crime (SZ). The authors hypothesise that each typology will utilise services differently throughout the clinical trajectory. This pilot study aimed to (i) examine the concurrent validity of the antisocial behaviour and psychosis typologies, and (ii) examine differences in the service utilisation patterns of patients between these groups.
The sample consisted of adult male patients admitted to low and medium secure forensic hospitals within the Northwest of England. A total of 90 patients were used.
A categorisation checklist was developed, and the typology of patients determined from data collected from electronic health records. Data were collected on patient demographics, psychiatric diagnosis, aetiological factors, and service utilisation. Two researchers reviewed the data and determined the typology. Statistical analysis aimed to assess the difference in aetiological variables between the typologies and examine the relationship with how each typology utilised services.
This study provided further evidence of distinguishing characteristics emphasising typology heterogeneity.
The CD-SZ group were more likely to have utilised mental health services <18 years (70%, p = 0.062), and to have used services preceding a diagnosis of psychosis (60%, p = 0.011). Following the onset of a psychotic disorder, the AS-SZ and SZ groups had a higher proportion that used general adult psychiatry services (p = 0.031), with CD-SZ coming in to contact with forensic psychiatry services and criminal justice services earlier and more frequently.
This study demonstrates that each typology has a different clinical trajectory through mental health services. This provides further empirical evidence towards different clinical typologies and trajectories of individuals with psychosis and anti-social behaviour. Understanding more about how these typologies utilise services will enable clinicians to introduce interventions help develop effective management plans that address the distinct characteristics of each typology of offender with psychosis.
We present outcomes of a newly developed Community Rehabilitation team (MhIST) using the context of Jen's personal story. Jen is a 31-year-old student and freelance journalist. This story encompasses her journey from inpatient rehabilitation services to the community, completed with support from MhIST.
“For nearly four years, I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act as an inpatient in hospital. As I had been denied my fundamental liberties for so long, the prospect of leaving hospital for good and enjoying total freedom was both exhilarating and terrifying. How would I fare in the community, living on my own? Would I be lonely? Would I relapse? Would I survive?”
Upon leaving hospital, I immediately received intensive support from MhIST. They were the bridge between the gulf that was hospital and the community. Since leaving hospital, I have been relishing my freedom. I enjoy meeting up with my friends after so long apart. I have volunteered at The Storyhouse, a local arts venue. The Spider Project – a non-clinical community mental health service in Chester - has also provided me with fulfilling activities from yoga to creative writing. The MHIST team have not only kept me well but, most importantly, helped me thrive. Leaving hospital has been an adventure. It has been a joy to regain my independence and freedom. To live rather than to exist. Life is amazing. Long may it continue.”
MhIST provides an intensive rehabilitation and recovery service, delivering bespoke packages of care to individuals. This is achieved using key working and a shared team approach, outcome focused goal-based interventions, weekly reflective/formulation meetings, and a focus on social rehabilitation. Patients referred to MhIST will have a high level of complexity plus severe, treatment refractory symptoms, with impaired social, interpersonal and occupational function and high support needs. They may have co-occurring mental health conditions including substance misuse or neurodevelopmental disorders.
MhIST is a new service and has been active for around 6 months. The first 10 patients referred have been from acute wards (3), community mental health teams (1), and inpatient rehabilitation wards (6). 60% of patients are currently housed in independent accommodation.
Jen's story narrates the experience she encountered during transition from inpatient rehabilitation services to the community. This was completed with support from MhIST, a new community rehabilitation service which provides an intensive rehabilitation and recovery service.
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