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Adolescent Psychiatry

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Family psychotherapy, Family Therapy -- methods, Schizophrenia -- therapy, Mental illness -- Treatment


Seventy percent of those who will have an episode of psychosis will have done so by age 25. Data from clinical trials of intervention during the clinical high risk period of psychosis have determined that the mean age is in mid-adolescence, 16-18 years of age. For those reasons, early intervention inherently involves adolescents, and by extension their parents and other family members and supports. Regarding the type of intervention, it is relevant that the current empirically-derived standard of treatment for schizophrenia, as concluded by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research survey of the treatment outcome literature, includes family psychoeducation, supported employment, assertive community treatment and antipsychotic medication,; i.e., a combination of psychosocial and pharmacologic interventions. Combinations of all four of these treatments, as in Family-aided Assertive Community Treatment (FACT), achieve very low rates of relapse, substantial reductions of symptoms and remarkable functional outcomes, particularly in the domain of competitive employment. Furthermore, a large comparative study of outcomes in community settings found that psychoeducational multifamily groups were more effective than single-family psychoeducation specifically in the first episode and in high-risk-for relapse cases, suggesting that particular psychosocial treatments may be especially effective in early phases of illness.


This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, has been published in Adolescent Psychiatry 2012 and is copyright by Bentham Science Publishers, available online

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