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Pervasive developmental disorder and early intervention in psychosis services: a survey of care coordinators' experiences


Dr Paul A. Tiffin, School for Health, The Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University Queen's Campus, Stockton-on-Tees TS17 6BH, UK. Email:


Aim: To evaluate the experience of care coordinators encountering clients with co-morbid diagnoses or features of pervasive development disorder (PDD) in an Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) service.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a semi-structured face-to-face interview schedule.

Results: Thirty-three care coordinators were interviewed. One-third of the care coordinators had previously encountered at least one client with a co-morbid diagnosis of PDD, with the majority feeling confident that they could recognize the features of the syndrome. The estimated reported prevalence of diagnosed PDD in this group was around 4–5%, although social and communication impairments were regularly encountered in clients by at least a quarter of the clinicians interviewed.

Conclusions: Social and communication problems are commonly observed by clinicians in this population and some may represent the presence of a co-morbid PDD. Further efforts should be made to better identify and support this sub-population of EIP clients.