Three-year outcome of treatment in an early psychosis program

Can J Psychiatry. 2009 Sep;54(9):626-30. doi: 10.1177/070674370905400907.


Objective: Studies defining the course and outcome of people experiencing their first episode psychosis (FEP) generally report an improvement in symptoms and functioning. Little is known about the follow-up arrangements offered to patients when their time in a FEP comes to an end.

Method: Our study focuses on a sample of FEP patients (n = 292) who were followed for up to 3 years in a multi-element specialized FEP service.

Results: Improvement in positive symptoms and social functioning, but not negative symptoms, was observed in this sample both for people who completed 3 years in the program and for those who left early. About 40% were referred to specialized mental health services, whereas 24% were followed by their family physician. Patients who were followed by family physicians had decreased symptoms and improved functioning.

Conclusion: Most patients treated in an early psychosis program will need follow-up, the largest group will require specialized mental health services in the community, but a significant group can be followed by family physicians.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alberta
  • Case Management
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Comorbidity
  • Comprehensive Health Care
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychotic Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / rehabilitation*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Social Adjustment
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Young Adult