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Psychiatr Danub. 2018 Jun;30(Suppl 4):208-215.

Integrated Specialized Early-Course Psychosis Treatment Services - University Psychiatric Hospital Vrapce Model.

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University Psychiatric Hospital Vrapče, Bolnička c. 32, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia,


First episode of psychosis presents a critical period in terms of numerous associated risks, but also possibilities for effective therapeutic interventions. There is a continued focus on early interventions in prodromal states and early course of frank psychosis, aimed at ensuring faster remission, reducing relapses, achieving better long-term functioning, and preventing adverse outcomes linked to untreated psychosis and chronic psychotic disorders. A number of different specialized treatment models and services exist trying to close knowledge gaps and provide clinical interventions to first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients, but there is still no generally accepted standard of care informing our every-day practice. FEP and early-course psychosis specialized treatment model developed in 2004 in University Psychiatric Hospital Vrapce rests on integration of care across different organization units and clinical presentation acuity levels and patient needs (intensive care, FEP inpatient unit, FEP outpatient services including day hospital). Such integration of FEP services allows for flexible entry point on multiple levels, earlier structuring of therapeutic alliance for those requiring inpatient care, reduction of risks associated with FEP, quicker formation of long-term treatment plans, reduction of delay in accessing specialized services, and a more coordinated diagnostic process and recruitment of FEP patient population. Detailed evaluations of outcomes and comparisons with different treatment models are necessary in order to assess strengths and weaknesses of each specific model and inform modifications to current practice models.


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