Team-based treatment is better for first episode psychosis

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New research shows that treating people with first episode psychosis with a team-based, coordinated specialty care approach produces better clinical and functional outcomes than typical community care. Investigators also found that treatment is most effective for people who receive care soon after psychotic symptoms begin.

raiseJohn M. Kane, M.D. heads the RAISE Early Treatment Program, one of two studies that make up the Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Kane is professor and chairman, Dept. of Psychiatry at The Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and The Zucker Hillside Hospital.  The team’s research is published online today by The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Kane and his colleagues trained clinical staff at real-world clinics around the country to use a coordinated specialty care treatment program called NAVIGATE. The program featured a team of specialists who worked with each client to create a personalized treatment plan. The specialists offered recovery-oriented psychotherapy, low doses of antipsychotic medications, family education and support, case management, and work or education support, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. The treatment was guided by shared decision making between the client and team. In addition, the treatment involved family members as much as possible.

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