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Early Interv Psychiatry. 2010 May;4(2):119-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7893.2010.00180.x.

A descriptive study of pathways to care of high risk for psychosis adolescents in Korea.

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Department of Psychiatry, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.



To cut down on the time of untreated psychosis it is necessary to know the pathways to care of patients. We designed this study to examine patients' help seeking contacts. There have only been a few studies in developing countries examining the pathways to care, and this research is the first of its kind in Korea focusing on adolescents.


The sample consisted of 18 adolescents aged 15 to 18 years. We evaluated the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States and 'pathway to care' at the initial evaluation of the patient. 'Pathways to care' data was collected via an interview with the patient. In each interview, the prospective description of each participants' help contacts, from the initial suspected psychiatric illness until the first psychiatric help was noted.


In total, 14 contacts were made among the 18 patients. Of these, the most common contacts were either through a family member, teacher or the Internet. Thirty-three percent of high risk for psychosis adolescents sought help themselves.


Our findings showed that the Internet and family members were the key contacts in as many as 57% of high risk adolescents. In Korea, patients and caregivers both serve important roles in help seeking efforts. It is important for adolescents who are at high risk of psychosis in Korea to have easy access to information in recognizing mental health problems. Therefore, mass in-depth educating and public campaigning are important in recognizing the symptoms of early psychosis and in doing so can reduce the DUP.

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