Early detection of psychosis: finding those at clinical high risk


Dr Jean Addington, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 250 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 1R8, Canada. Email: jean_addington@camh.net


Aim: In early detection work, recruiting individuals who meet the prodromal criteria is difficult. The aim of this paper was to describe the development of a research clinic for individuals who appear to be at risk of developing a psychosis and the process for educating the community and obtaining referrals.

Methods: The outcome of all referrals to the clinic over a 4-year period was examined.

Results: Following an ongoing education campaign that was over inclusive in order to aid recruitment, approximately 27% of all referrals met the criteria for being at clinical high risk of psychosis.

Conclusions: We are seeing only a small proportion of those in the community who eventually go on to develop a psychotic illness. This raises two important issues, namely how to remedy the situation, and second, the impact of this on current research in terms of sampling bias and generalizability of research findings.