Providing comprehensive coordinated care to young people after they experience a first episode of psychosis can help them avoid hospitalization and resume their school and work lives, according to research published today in Psychiatric Services in Advance, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association.

Many clinicians and researchers now regard the first years after psychosis onset as “a window of opportunity” during which evidence-based interventions can stop the downward spiral of functional loss long thought to be the only outcome for people with schizophrenia. In this first U.S. controlled trial of an early intervention model, researchers compared 120 patients randomly assigned to treatment at the clinic for Specialized Treatment Early in Psychosis (STEP) to usual treatment.

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