chapter  7
13 Pages

Cognitive behaviour therapy and early intervention

WithJean Addington, Enza Mancuso, Maria Haarmans

One of the most important developments in schizophrenia research and treatment is the concept of early intervention and prevention. Recent research has targeted either the late pre-onset or early post-onset phases of schizophrenia. Since it has been suggested that delays to treatment impede recovery and may impact outcome, the goal of post-onset studies is to detect and treat schizophrenia close to the onset in order to minimize the duration of untreated psychosis. Subtle pre-illness clinical, psychosocial and cognitive deficits have been reported for many years. But it is only in the past decade that systematic, reliable identification of "prodromal" individuals has become possible, based on the presence of subthreshold psychotic symptoms and/or a family history of schizophrenia with signs of functional deterioration. The goals of early intervention are to reduce the delay in accessing treatment and to offer optimal treatment in the early, most critical years following onset.