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Those with first-episode psychosis are at high-risk of suicide
To identify predictive factors for suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts,
and to investigate the rate of suicides and other deaths during the 5
years after first diagnosis and initiation of treatment
A longitudinal, prospective, 5-year follow-up study of 547 individuals
with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum psychosis. Individuals
presenting for their first treatment in mental health services in two
circumscribed urban areas in Denmark were included in a randomised
controlled trial of integrated v. standard treatment.
All participants were followed in the Danish Cause of Death Register for
5 years. Suicidal behaviour and clinical and social status were assessed
using validated interviews and rating scales at entry, and at 1- and
Sixteen participants died during the follow-up. We found a strong
association between suicidal thoughts, plans and previous attempts,
depressive and psychotic symptoms and young age, and with suicidal plans
and attempts at 1- and 2-year follow-up
In this first-episode cohort depressive and psychotic symptoms,
especially hallucinations, predicted suicidal plans and attempts, and
persistent suicidal behaviour and ideation were associated with high risk
of attempted suicide
The families of patients with first-episode psychosis often play a major role in care and often experience lack of support.
To determine the effect of integrated treatment v. standard treatment on subjective burden of illness, expressed emotion (EE), knowledge of illness and satisfaction with treatment in key relatives of patients with a first episode of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder.
Patients with ICD-10 schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (first episode) were randomly assigned to integrated treatment or to standard treatment. Integrated treatment consisted of assertive community treatment, psychoeducational multi-family groups and social skills training. Key relatives were assessed with the Social Behaviour Assessment Schedule (SBAS, burden of illness), the 5-min speech sample (EE), and a multiple choice questionnaire at entry and after 1 year.
Relatives in integrated treatment felt less burdened and were significantly more satisfied with treatment than relatives in standard treatment. There were no significant effects of intervention groups on knowledge of illness and EE.
The integrated treatment reduced family burden of illness and improved satisfaction with treatment.
Because early illness course and outcome may affect the long-term outcome of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, it is especially important to address poor outcome in this early critical period.
To evaluate whether integrated treatment compared with standard treatment reduced the proportion of patients with poor clinical and social outcome after 1 year.
A total of 547 patients with first-episode psychosis were included in the study, 275 randomly assigned to integrated treatment and 272 to standard treatment. Measures assessed psychotic symptoms and social functioning.
There was a significant beneficial effect of integrated treatment v. standard treatment on ‘any poor outcome’. Integrated treatment had a significantly better effect on ‘any poor outcome’ in patients with schizophrenia compared with patients in standard treatment.
The integrated treatment significantly reduced the proportion of patients with poor clinical and social outcome compared with standard treatment.
People with schizophrenia are at high risk of psychotic relapse. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the predictive validity and temporal link of early signs to this.
A study sample of 60 out-patients with schizophrenia was examined every second week over a period of six months. The study design included self-reporting (Early Signs Scale) and objective assessment (General Psychopathology of Positive and Negative Symptom Scale) of behavioural and phenomenological changes (early signs). Criterion cut-off points were based on a comparison to the subjects' individual baseline scores.
Twenty-seven subjects (45%) experienced a relapse. Composite increased score ($ 10 points) of self-reported/objectively assessed early signs predicted the relapse with a sensitivity of 81% and a specificity of 79%. Thus the predictive validity of early signs of relapse was considerable, particularly self-reporting of early signs of relapse: sensitivity 74% and specificity 79%. The inclusion of objective assessment added only marginally to the prediction. Early signs were detected most often (70%) within the four weeks immediately before the individuals' relapse.
Psychotic relapse is most often preceded by early signs. Clinical practice should integrate this knowledge by an ongoing monitoring including self-reporting.
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