The early psychosis programs developed worldwide have a number of common elements and goals:
1) early recognition of illness
2) reducing the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), and suffering for patients and their families
3) providing continued treatment during the «critical period» of the early years of the disorder, reducing abuse of farmacotherapy.
But we need to add:
4) use of specialized team
An integrated treatment starts with an integrated assessment of psychiatric and psychological conditions of individual and his family, in addition to a rehabilitative diagnosis to assess individual’s psychosocial competences. In order to avoid unnecessary treatment and to plan therapeutic activities tailored individually with designed intervention priority to take into account the needs of both patients and families.
Interdisciplinary teams, providing a wide range of integrated services that typically include individual and family psychotherapy, psychoeducation, pharmacotherapy, clinical case management. The current challenges in the implementation of psychological interventions in the early stages of psychosis are:
a) to adapt treatment modalities that have been proven effective in stable and residual stages of the disease to its early stages;
b) to develop new forms of therapy tailored to the specific characteristics of these early stages of psychosis;
c) treatment interventions need to be individually and family tailored to specific needs and resources.
Integrated treatment is a dynamic process that promote the cooperation and integration of tasks between staff members with a continuous assessment during the course of the treatment, with the possibility of modifying the therapeutic plans. But well trained staff members and Supervisory activities are an inseparable part of the therapeutic work.
For people with early psychosis, early integrated intervention programs appear to have clinically important benefits over standard care.