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Correspondence: Dr Yap Hwa Ling, firstname.lastname@example.org
Early psychosis intervention programmes have been around for 20 years. The duration of psychosis has been hypothesised to be neurotoxic, and there is a critical period, postulated to be up to five years from the onset of psychosis, for intervention before the psychosis becomes established. Early intervention is expected to change the course of psychosis and hence, the outcome. However, despite the proliferation of early intervention services, research has shown that improvement in outcome is at best modest, lasting only for the duration of the intervention, and these benefits are not sustained after five years. Evidence for the cost-effectiveness of these services is accumulating and indicates that the reduction in costs is due to reduced inpatient stays.
Keywords: cost-effectiveness, duration of untreated psychosis, early psychosis intervention
Singapore Med J 2010; 51(9): 689-693