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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1993 Sep;27(3):374-8.

Early intervention in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Academic Unit/Archer Centre, All Saints' Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


The management of schizophrenia may be characterised by two paradigms. The first approaches the schizophrenias as episodic relapsing disorders, where treatment is provided through both acute (crisis) care and to achieve prophylaxis. The second paradigm, sometimes arising from a failure of the first, is of "rehabilitation", involving amelioration of disabilities, occasionally within a framework of relative asylum. We would propose a third paradigm of "early intervention", involving a combination of medical and psychosocial interventions targeted at young, vulnerable people with the aim of preventing or limiting likely social, psychological and mental deterioration. Vigorous intervention early in the course of illness, early recognition and treatment of relapse and the promotion of psychological adjustment to psychotic illness are proposed as key elements of this third paradigm.

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