Background Delays in accessing care for young people with a first episode of psychosis are significantly associated with poorer treatment response and higher relapse rates. Aim To assess the effect of an educational intervention for GPs on referral rates to early-intervention services and the duration of untreated psychosis for young people with first-episode psychosis. Design of study Stratified cluster randomised controlled trial, clustered at practice level. Setting Birmingham, England. Method Practices with access to the three early-intervention services in three inner-city primary care trusts in Birmingham were eligible for inclusion. Intervention practices received an educational intervention addressing GP knowledge, skills, and attitudes about first-episode psychosis. The primary outcome was the difference in the number of referrals to early-intervention services between practices. Secondary outcomes were duration of untreated psychosis, time to recovery, use of the Mental Health Act, and GP consultation rate during the developing illness. Results A total of 110 of 135 eligible practices (81%) were recruited; 179 young people were referred, 97 from intervention and 82 from control practices. The relative risk of referral was not significant: 1.20 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.74 to 1.95; P = 0.48). No effect was observed on secondary outcomes except for 'delay in reaching early-intervention services', which was statistically significantly shorter in patients. registered in intervention practices (95% CI = 83.5 to 360.5; P = 0.002). Conclusion GP training on first-episode psychosis is insufficient to alter referral rates to early-intervention services or reduce the duration of untreated psychosis; however, there is a suggestion that training facilitates access to the new specialist teams for early psychosis.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||British Journal of General Practice|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2009|
- primary health care