Baby or bathwater? Referrals of "non-cases" in a targeted early identification intervention for psychosis

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2018 Jul;53(7):757-761. doi: 10.1007/s00127-018-1502-5. Epub 2018 Mar 14.


Purpose: To explore the unintended impact of a targeted case identification (TCI) campaign for first episode psychosis (FEP) on people not experiencing FEP ("non-cases") with respect to referral patterns and reasons for being a non-case.

Methods: Sources of referral, reasons for being a non-case, and subsequent referral destinations of non-cases were examined before and after a TCI.

Results: Following the TCI, a greater proportion of non-cases lived outside the study catchment area. A smaller proportion was referred by the parent hospital's emergency room or had a substance-induced psychosis.

Conclusions: TCIs for FEP may have unintended effects, with implications for early case identification and early intervention services.

Keywords: Early case identification; Early intervention services; First episode psychosis; Non-cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Diagnostic Errors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Early Intervention, Educational / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult