Outcome in schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders remains relatively poor despite availability of antipsychotic medication and several highly efficacious psychological treatments. While outcome can be improved significantly through provision of integrated medical and psychosocial treatments in later stages of the illness, it is doubtful if the negative effect associated with delay in initial treatment can be eradicated entirely. At the very least the social consequences of delay in treatment for the patient and the family may be difficult to reverse.
Unfortunately a substantial proportion of patients experience long delays not uncommonly stretching to one to two years. However, a new optimism is beginning to emerge through provision of optimum treatment at a very early stage of the development of a psychotic illness.
Here we will provide the reader with a detailed description of a new early intervention program (PEPP). We have attempted to provide practical guidelines for setting up an early intervention program/service for psychotic disorders with special emphasis on assessment procedures and integrated phase specific treatment. While we have attempted to provide sufficient detail these modules cannot be considered training manuals. The latter may be obtained from the program on direct request. It must be emphasized that in order to provide optimum assessment and treatment as outlined in this package clinicians are advised to obtain specific training possibly through preceptorship programs. Details of these can be obtained by writing to our program.