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Review
. 2017 Dec;43(6):570-576.
doi: 10.1016/j.encep.2017.10.001. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

[What Support of Young Presenting a First Psychotic Episode, When Schooling Is Being Challenged?]

[Article in French]
Affiliations
Review

[What Support of Young Presenting a First Psychotic Episode, When Schooling Is Being Challenged?]

[Article in French]
M-N Vacheron et al. Encephale. .

Abstract

Psychiatric disorders (more specifically mood disorders and psychosis) represent the 1st cause of disability among young people. Unemployment rate between 75 to 95% for the person with schizophrenia. It is correlated to poor social integration and bad economic status, worse symptomatology loss of autonomy as well as global bad functioning. It is responsible of more than half of the overall cost of psychosis. The onset of most of psychiatric disorders occur between the age of 25 and 35 years old, a critical time in young adult life when they should build their professional as well as social future. Without appropriate care, young adult are unable to build satisfactory emotional relationships, continue their studies, live independently or fit into life. They are frequently dependent on their environment. They also have an increased suicide rate and frequent comorbid substance abuse. Despite this context, their care pathway is often marked by a delay or premature stop of care, drug treatments not always suitable and a lack of specific relay post-hospitalization regarding continuity of professional training or studies. All factors impacting future employability of adolescents. Furthermore they spend most of their time in school and school plays a key part in an individual's development including peer relationships, social interactions, academic attainment, cognitive progress, emotional control, behavioral expectations and physical and moral development. These areas are also reciprocally affected by mental illness. The initial phases of FEP are characterized by impaired academic performance, change in social behaviors and increasing absences from school, reflecting the prodrome of the illness that leads to disengagement from education. Functional decline often precedes onset of clinical symptoms and many adolescents and young adults are therefore isolated from school before their illness is recognized. School support staff may fail to recognize those who are functionally impaired because of evolving FEP although school is a key setting for promoting positive mental health, fostering resilience, detecting and responding to emerging mental ill health. So, people with psychotic illness have low levels of secondary school completion. School dropout has been defined as leaving education without obtaining a minimal credential, most often a higher secondary education diploma. In France, the school is compulsory up to the age of 16. Consequences are significant: among young people without a degree out of initial training for one to four years and present on the labour market, 47% are unemployed. School dropout depends on a number of factors, including grades, family and social environment and the relationship with the school, but also the emergence of psychiatric disorders. For first episode psychotic patients, age of onset, lack of family support, longer duration of psychosis, levels of premorbid global functioning and education, negative and cognitive symptoms, addictions, depressive comorbidities and stigma plays an important role in school dropout. However, young adults have historically received less treatment than expected considering prevalence of mental illness at that age. In the last few decades, early intervention programs for psychosis have been developed all around the world in order to promote rehabilitation and prevent long-term disabilities. Early intervention programs focus on the special needs of young people and their families and engage in some form of assertive community treatment, which attempts to treat patients in the community rather than using inpatient services. For early intervention in psychosis programs, the goal is to keep patients engaged with treatment, prevent them from further psychotic episodes and hospitalizations and promote rehabilitation. The additional services of an early intervention program include staff specialized in psychosis treatment, family/group/individual counseling sessions, assertive case management, and low-dose second generation anti-psychotics. In these programs, psychiatric rehabilitation practitioners already use individual counseling and supported education programs (SEd) to improve postsecondary educational outcomes. The goals of SEd are for individuals with serious mental illness to successfully be able to set and achieve an educational goal (e.g., training certificate or degree), to improve educational competencies (literacy, study skills, time management), to navigate the educational environment (e.g., applications, financial assistance), and to improve motivation toward completing educational goals. These approaches are often combined with efforts to support transitions to sustainable employment. Current evidence of these interventions are weak with limited information on specific difficulties experienced by young adults with FEP in educational tasks. Adaptive strategies are needed by young adults with FEP to succeed in educational settings but most studies do not explore it with rigorous methodology. However, common SEd components emerge: specialized and dedicated staffing, one-on-one and group skill-building activities, assistance with navigating the academic setting and coordinating different services, and linkages with mental health counseling. Continued specification, and testing of SEd core components are still needed. It is important that occupational therapy researchers and practitioners develop, and evaluate effective interventions to improve education outcomes for young adults with FEP. The objective of this work is to define school dropout, assess causes and consequences of FEP. How to help young people to maintain education? We will detail measures to support the academic re-insertion in France.

Keywords: First episode psychotic; Premier épisode psychotique; Recovery; Rétablissement; Schizophrenia; Schizophrénie; School drop-up; Soutien aux études; Supported education; Échec scolaire.

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