International Early Psychosis Association (IEPA) meeting in Milan, Italy (20-22 October) will focus on the huge expansion of early intervention services for people with psychosis across the USA. The progress will be detailed by Dr Robert Heinssen, Director of the Division of Services and Intervention Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Bethesda, MD, USA.
Early intervention services will be developed or expanded in 48 states, with the expansion driven by the success of the RAISE initiative, consisting of two studies (RAISE-ETP and RAISE-EIS) that showed the success of coordinated specialty care (CSC) in improving outcomes for people with first episode psychosis (FEP).
Coordinated specialty care (CSC) is a recovery-oriented treatment program for people with first episode psychosis (FEP). CSC uses a team of specialists who work with the client to create a personal treatment plan. The specialists offer
Dr Heinssen says: “The goal is to link the client with a CSC team as soon as possible after psychotic symptoms begin. The client and the CSC team work together to make treatment decisions, involving family members as much as possible.”
Compared to people receiving typical care, persons enrolled in CSC programmes stay in treatment longer, and see greater improvement in their symptoms, interpersonal relationships, and quality of life. Treatment is most effective for people who receive care soon after psychotic symptoms begin. Analysis of data from RAISE-ETP shows that CSC is more cost-effective than typical community care.
Dr Heinssen’s talk will detail progress that has been made across the US since RAISE’s findings:
“Coordinated specialty care represents an evidence-based approach that will improve outcomes for many thousands of young people experiencing the first episode of psychosis,” explains Dr Heinssen. “NIMH is now investing in the Early Psychosis Intervention Network (EPINET), a network of clinics that will create a learning health care system within early psychosis treatment settings.”
He adds: “With service users’ consent, EPINET clinics will share information gathered during routine clinical encounters so participants, clinicians and researchers can learn more about the effectiveness of early psychosis treatment. These data will not include information that identifies individuals receiving care.”