Objective: Implementing a system designed to treat first episode psychotic (FEP) patients.
Method: Every FEP patient (n=253) from a catchment area of 1.5 million inhabitants were asked to participate in this 5-year project. One historical (n=71) and one prospective (n=64) FEP group were used for comparisons.
Results: A total of 175 patients (69%) were followed up through the first year of treatment. Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) values were significantly higher than in the historical comparison group but similar to the prospective group. Psychiatric in-patient care was lower as was prescription of neuroleptic medication. Satisfaction with care was generally high in the Parachute group. Access to a small overnight crisis home was associated with higher GAF.
Conclusion: It is possible to successfully treat FEP patients with fewer in-patient days and less neuroleptic medication than is usually recommended, when combined with intensive psychosocial treatment and support.