Variation in duration of untreated psychosis in an 18-year perspective
The Scandinavian TIPS project engineered an early detection of psychosis programme that sought to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) through early detection teams and extensive information campaigns since 1997. In 1997–2000, DUP was reduced from 26 to 4.5 weeks median. The programme was continued beyond the initial project in modified forms for over 13 years. The aim of this study was to track the vicissitudes of DUP over an 18-year period (1993–2010) with differing early detection efforts in a defined catchment area.
The DUP of all patients meeting criteria for first episode psychosis was measured 1993–1994 and from 1997 to 2010 in a naturalistic long-term study. DUP values of all patients were included, irrespective of patients' participation in a clinical follow-up study, yielding a highly representative sample.
DUP varied across studies with differing information campaign intensity and content. These variations will be described and explored.
Early detection campaigns should have a stable focus and high intensity level. Future research should further elucidate pathways to care in order to establish principal targets for information campaigns.