Information about the cost-effectiveness of early intervention programmes for first-episode psychosis is limited.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of an intensive early-intervention programme (called OPUS) (trial registration NCT00157313) consisting of enriched assertive community treatment, psychoeducational family treatment and social skills training for individuals with first-episode psychosis compared with standard treatment.
An incremental cost-effectiveness analysis of a randomised controlled trial, adopting a public sector perspective was undertaken.
The mean total costs of OPUS over 5 years (€123,683, s.e. = 8970) were not significantly different from that of standard treatment (€148,751, s.e. = 13073). At 2-year follow-up the mean Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) score in the OPUS group (55.16, s.d. = 15.15) was significantly higher than in standard treatment group (51.13, s.d. = 15.92). However, the mean GAF did not differ significantly between the groups at 5-year follow-up (55.35 (s.d. = 18.28) and 54.16 (s.d. = 18.41), respectively). Cost-effectiveness planes based on non-parametric bootstrapping showed that OPUS was less costly and more effective in 70% of the replications. For a willingness-to-pay up to €50,000 the probability that OPUS was cost-effective was more than 80%.
The incremental cost-effectiveness analysis showed that there was a high probability of OPUS being cost-effective compared with standard treatment.
The early phases of psychosis have been hypothesized to constitute a critical period, a window of opportunity. At the same time, the early phases of psychosis are associated with increased risk of unwanted outcome, such as suicidal behaviour and social isolation. This was the background for the emergence of early intervention services, and in Denmark, the OPUS trial was initiated as part of that process.
Modified assertive community treatment, together with family involvement and social skills training, constituted the core elements in the original programme. A total of 547 patients with first-episode psychosis were included in the trial.
To summarize briefly the results of the OPUS trial: the OPUS treatment was superior to standard treatment in reducing psychotic and negative symptoms and substance abuse, in increasing user satisfaction and adherence to treatment, and in reducing use of bed days and days in supported housing. Moreover, relatives included in the OPUS treatment were less strained and had a higher level of knowledge about schizophrenia and higher user satisfaction.
The OPUS treatment was implemented throughout Denmark. Training courses were developed and manuals and books were published. Regional health authorities had access to national grants for implementing early intervention services; as a result, OPUS teams were disseminated throughout the country. The content of the treatment is now further developed, and new elements are being tried out - such as individual placement and support, lifestyle changes, cognitive remediation, specialized treatment for substance abuse and different kinds of user involvement.
This paper aims to investigate the predictors of good outcome after first-episode non-affective psychosis and the clinical and social trajectories of those that recover.
A cohort of 255 patients with first-episode non-affective psychosis was interviewed 5 years after first diagnosis and treatment. Recovery was defined as working or studying, having a GAF-function score of 60 or above, having remission of negative and psychotic symptoms, and not living in a supported housing facility or being hospitalized during the last 2 years before the five-year follow-up interview.
A total of 40 (15.7%) were found to be recovered, and 76 (29.8%) had a job or were studying after 5 years. Of those working, as many as 20 still had psychotic symptoms. Also notable is that out of the 40 recovered, less than half were recovered after 2 years. Recovery after 5 years was predicted by female sex (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.0-5.8), higher age (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.83-0.99), pre-morbid social adaptation (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.56-0.93), growing up with both parents (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.0-6.8) and low level of negative symptoms (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.77) at baseline.
Our findings suggest that a stable social life with normal social functioning has a predictive value for good outcome. These measures might be influenced by negative symptoms, but in the multivariate analysis with negative symptoms included they have an independent effect. Also our findings suggest that, after first-episode psychosis, some patients can still experience psychotic symptoms, but have a job and a fairly stable life.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effects of integrated treatment for patients with a first episode of psychotic illness. DESIGN: Randomised clinical trial. SETTING: Copenhagen Hospital Corporation and Psychiatric Hospital Aarhus, Denmark. PARTICIPANTS: 547 patients with first episode of schizophrenia spectrum disorder. INTERVENTIONS: Integrated treatment and standard treatment. The integrated treatment lasted for two years and consisted of assertive community treatment with programmes for family involvement and social skills training. Standard treatment offered contact with a community mental health centre. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Psychotic and negative symptoms (each scored from 0 to a maximum of 5) at one and two years' follow-up. RESULTS: At one year's follow-up, psychotic symptoms changed favourably to a mean of 1.09 (standard deviation 1.27) with an estimated mean difference between groups of -0.31 (95% confidence interval -0.55 to -0.07, P = 0.02) in favour of integrated treatment. Negative symptoms changed favourably with an estimated difference between groups of -0.36 (-0.54 to -0.17, P
To evaluate whether integrated treatment (given by OPUS), in comparison with standard treatment, significantly reduced the number of patients with substance abuse and improved clinical and social outcome in the group of substance abusers after 2 years.
A total of 547 patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorders were included in the study, 275 randomly assigned to OPUS treatment and 272 to standard treatment. OPUS treatment consisted of assertive community treatment with family involvement and social skills training. Standard treatment offered contact with a community mental health centre. Main outcome measure was reduction in comorbid substance abuse.
At 2-year follow up, 42 (17.3%) patients from OPUS and 40 (20.7%) patients from standard treatment met criteria for substance abuse (odds ratio=0.5, 95% confidence interval 0.3-1.0). OPUS treatment compared with standard treatment significantly reduced negative and disorganized symptoms in the substance abuser group. Patients with substance abuse in the OPUS treatment spent significantly fewer days in hospital during the 2-year period than patients given standard treatment (109 days vs. 167 days) and adhered to treatment significantly more often.
Results from this trial indicate that integrated treatment given by OPUS reduced substance abuse and improved clinical outcome in the substance abuser group. Supplementing the OPUS treatment with therapeutic programmes for patients with a comorbid substance abuse would probably further improve outcome.