OBJECTIVE: In a previous study, we have suggested a revision of the Anger/Aggression and the Spontaneity subscales. The main aim of this study was to re-evaluate the psychometric properties of the other eight subscales of the Ward Atmosphere Scale. METHOD: A total of 550 patients and 822 staff members on 54 psychiatric wards for psychotic patients completed the WAS and the Good Milieu Index (GMI). We calculated Cronbach's alpha, the Corrected Item Total subscale Correlation, subscale intercorrelations and the correlation between subscales and GMI. RESULTS: By removing a total of 16 items, the psychometric properties improved. The revised subscales had acceptable psychometrics and gave a clearer picture of the relationship between the perceived level of patient satisfaction and the WAS subscale scores. CONCLUSION: The revision suggested in this study 'modernized' several of the subscales. We suggest that this revision is implemented in the future use of the WAS.
During the last decades we have seen a new focus on early treatment of psychosis. Several reviews have shown that duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is correlated to better outcome. However, it is still unknown whether early treatment will lead to a better long-term outcome. This study reports the effects of reducing DUP on 5-year course and outcome.
During 1997-2000 a total of 281 consecutive patients aged >17 years with first episode non-affective psychosis were recruited, of which 192 participated in the 5-year follow-up. A comprehensive early detection (ED) programme with public information campaigns and low-threshold psychosis detection teams was established in one healthcare area (ED-area), but not in a comparable area (no-ED area). Both areas ran equivalent treatment programmes during the first 2 years and need-adapted treatment thereafter.
At the start of treatment, ED-patients had shorter DUP and less symptoms than no-ED-patients. There were no significant differences in treatment (psychotherapy and medication) for the 5 years. Mixed-effects modelling showed better scores for the ED group on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale negative, depressive and cognitive factors and for global assessment of functioning for social functioning at 5-year follow-up. The ED group also had more contacts with friends. Regression analysis did not find that these differences could be explained by confounders.
Early treatment had positive effects on clinical and functional status at 5-year follow-up in first episode psychosis.