n South African Journal of Psychiatry - First-episode psychosis : an update




Interest in the subject of first-episode psychosis has increased considerably in the last two decades. At present, a number of centres around the world focus on early identification and intervention in people with psychotic disorders. Researchers have focused particularly on people who are possibly experiencing the prodromal phase of the illness in the hope that, by instituting appropriate early intervention, the outcome of schizophrenia will be improved. Patients with first-episode psychosis present with different symptom domains that should be taken into account when planning treatment. Most patients initially respond to treatment; however, there is a high rate of relapse within a few years. It is therefore important that we continue to seek improved relapse prevention strategies. There has also been a resurgence of interest in psychosocial risk factors for the development of schizophrenia in the recent literature. We review the literature on first-episode psychosis and highlight the significant findings.


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