The efficacy of targeted health agents education to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis in a rural population

Schizophr Res. 2015 Feb;161(2-3):184-7. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2014.10.039. Epub 2014 Nov 28.


The duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is a key determinant in the severity of symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. DUP is a modifiable factor that if reduced can improve patient outcome and treatment response. We sought to decrease DUP in rural Argentina by instituting annual training of local health agents to better identify signs of mental illness and offer earlier intervention. DUP was estimated using Schedules of Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN). Ongoing training was correlated with a reduction in DUP. Reducing DUP through better screening can decrease the psychosocial burden of disease and improve the trajectory of psychosis.

Keywords: Duration of untreated psychosis; Primary care intervention; Schedules of Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry; Schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Argentina
  • Community Health Workers / education*
  • Early Medical Intervention*
  • Female
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rural Population
  • Young Adult