Frontiers in Psychiatry
Frontiers Media S.A.
School of Arts and Humanities
Health West Foundation Norwegian Extra Foundation for Health and Rehabilitation EXTRA funds
Objectives: Most individuals experience a relatively long period of sub-clinical psychotic like symptoms, known as the ultra high risk (UHR) or at risk mental states (ARMS), prior to a first episode of psychosis. Approximately 95% of individuals who will later develop psychosis are not referred to specialized clinical services and assessed during the UHR phase. The study aimed to investigate whether a systematic early detection program, modeled after the successful early detection of psychosis program TIPS, would improve the detection of help-seeking UHR individuals. The secondary aim was to examine the rates and predictors of conversion to psychosis after 2 years. Method: The overall study design was a prospective (2012–2018), follow- up study of individuals fulfilling UHR inclusion criteria as assessed by the structural interview for prodromal syndromes (SIPS). Help-seeking UHR individuals were recruited through systematic early detection strategies in a Norwegian catchment area and treated in the public mental health services. Results: In the study period 141 UHR help-seeking individuals were identified. This averages an incidence of 7 per 100,000 people per year. The baseline assessment was completed by 99 of these and the 2 year psychosis conversion rate was 20%. A linear mixed-model regression analysis found that the significant predictors of conversion were the course of positive (0.038) and negative symptoms (0.017). Age was also a significant predictor and showed an interaction with female gender ( < 0.000). Conclusion: We managed to detect a proportion of UHR individuals in the upper range of the expected prediction by the population statistics and further case enrichment would improve this rate. Negative symptoms were significant predictors. As a risk factor for adverse functional outcomes and social marginalization, this could offer opportunities for earlier psychosocial intervention.
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