Comparison of high and low intensity contact between secondary and primary care to detect people at ultra-high risk for psychosis: study protocol for a theory-based, cluster randomized controlled trial.

Perez (2013)
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The early detection and referral to specialized services of young people at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis may reduce the duration of untreated psychosis and, therefore, improve prognosis. General practitioners (GPs) are usually the healthcare professionals contacted first on the help-seeking pathway of these individuals. This is a cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) of primary care practices in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, UK. Practices are randomly allocated into two groups in order to establish which is the most effective and cost-effective way to identify people at UHR for psychosis. One group will receive postal information about the local early intervention in psychosis service, including how to identify young people who may be in the early stages of a psychotic illness. The second group will receive the same information plus an additional, ongoing theory-based educational intervention with dedicated liaison practitioners to train clinical staff at each site. The primary outcome of this trial is count data over a 2-year period: the yield - number of UHR for psychosis referrals to a specialist early intervention in psychosis service - per primary care practice. There is little guidance on the essential components of effective and cost-effective educational interventions in primary mental health care. Furthermore, no study has demonstrated an effect of a theory-based intervention to help GPs identify young people at UHR for psychosis. This study protocol is underpinned by a robust scientific rationale that intends to address these limitations. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN70185866.