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Br J Psychiatry Suppl. 2002 Sep;43:s78-84.

Randomised controlled trial of early detection and cognitive therapy for preventing transition to psychosis in high-risk individuals. Study design and interim analysis of transition rate and psychological risk factors.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.



There is interest in the possibility of indicated prevention of psychosis. There is a strong case for using psychological approaches to prevent transition to psychosis in high-risk patients.


To identify individuals at high risk of transition to psychosis, and psychological characteristics relevant to the development of psychosis in this group.


The design of a randomised controlled trial of cognitive therapy for the prevention of psychosis in people at high risk (meeting operational criteria of brief or attenuated psychotic symptoms, or first-degree family history with functional decline) is outlined. The first patients recruited are compared with non-patient samples on cognitive and personality factors; an interim analysis of transition rate is reported.


Cases (n = 31) were recruited mainly from primary care. Of the 23 high-risk patients monitored for 6-12 months, 5 (22%) made the transition to psychosis. The high-risk group scored significantly higher than non-patients on measures of schizotypy, metacognitive beliefs and dysfunctional self-schemas (sociotropy).


The findings validate the methods of identifying individuals at high risk of experiencing a psychotic episode. Compared with non-patient controls, the cases showed dysfunctional metacognitive beliefs and self-schemas.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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