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Keywords:

  • case management;
  • early intervention;
  • psychosis;
  • psycho-education;
  • TIPP

Abstract

Aim

In a survey conducted in the Lausanne catchment area in 2000, we could estimate on the basis of file assessment that first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients had psychotic symptoms for more than 2 years before treatment and that 50% did not attend any outpatient appointment after discharge from hospital. In this paper, we describe the implementation of a specialized programme aimed at improving engagement and quality of treatment for early psychosis patients in the Lausanne catchment area in Switzerland.

Method

The Treatment and Early Intervention in Psychosis Program-Lausanne is a comprehensive 3-year programme composed of (i) an outpatient clinic based on assertive case management; (ii) a specialized inpatient unit; and (iii) an intensive mobile team, connected for research to the Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience.

Results

Eight years after implementation, the programme has included 350 patients with a disengagement rate of 9% over 3 years of treatment. All patients have been assessed prospectively and 90 participated in neurobiological research. Based on this experience, the Health Department funded the implementation of similar programmes in other parts of the state, covering a total population of 540 000 people.

Conclusion

Programmes for early intervention in psychosis have a major impact on patients' engagement into treatment. While development of mobile teams and assertive case management with specific training are crucial, they do not necessitate massive financial support to be started. Inclusion of a research component is important as well, in terms of service planning and improvement of both quality of care and impact of early intervention strategies.