Recognition and management of depression in early psychosis

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Aims and Method: Depression in first episode psychosis (FEP) is highly prevalent and associated with poor outcomes; it has become increasingly recognised and adopted in national and international guidelines for psychosis. Using a 26-item questionnaire, this study aimed to explore if this shift has led to greater recognition amongst UK psychiatrists and more effective management of depression in FEP.

Results: Of the 297 respondents, 54.4%), observed depression occurring in chronic psychosis, with the least number of respondents (17.7%) identifying depression occurring frequently during FEP. Whilst there was reasonable agreement in the use of antidepressants as a first-line treatment for depression (70% prescribing antidepressants), there was uncertainty around assessing depression and delineating from psychosis symptoms, in particular, negative symptoms.

Clinical Implications: Evidence-based treatments for co-morbid depression in psychosis will lead to clearer national guidelines, allowing for optimal management of depression in early psychosis, potentially leading to improved outcomes for these individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalBJPsych Bulletin
Early online date15 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2021


  • comorbidity
  • psychotic disorders
  • antidepressants
  • depressive disorders
  • early intervention


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