Mental Health Services Research Targeting the Clinical High-Risk State for Psychosis: Lessons, Future Directions and Integration with Patient Perspectives

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2021 Feb 3;23(3):11. doi: 10.1007/s11920-021-01224-0.


Purpose of review: We summarize the history of the clinical high-risk stage of psychosis (CHR), current research on this stage and recent critiques of the field, and evaluate current CHR guidelines and frameworks.

Recent findings: Following its identification and characterization, CHR services have successfully been developed in North America, Europe, Australia and elsewhere. As reflected in guidelines, these services and their orientation largely emerged as an outgrowth of the framework pioneered by early intervention services for first-episode psychosis. We critically discuss what is known so far about the subjective experience of the CHR syndrome, the meaning of this "unofficial" diagnosis as well as what is known and unknown about the service-related needs. While a range of outstanding questions remain in the field, there is a particular need for patient-oriented work and to investigate the service-related needs of young people at CHR.

Keywords: Clinical high risk for psychosis; Help-seeking; Pathways to care; Patient-oriented research; Service guidelines; Service needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Australia
  • Europe
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • North America
  • Psychotic Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders* / therapy