Vancouver/Richmond EPI
Early Psychosis Intervention

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Barriers to Early Intervention

Despite the effectiveness of early intervention, the research indicates that, on average, individuals will have experienced psychosis for 52 - 114 weeks (Loebel et al., 1992; Larsen et al., 1996) prior to initial treatment. Reasons for this delay may include:

Social Aspects

  1. Stigma.

  2. Many people experiencing a first episode of psychosis are employed or in school and may fear disruption in these aspects of their lives.

  3. Poor recognition of illness by others.

Illness Variables

  1. Paranoia or other symptoms

  2. Poor insight

  3. Decline in cognitive functioning, including decreasing ability to concentrate and remember

  4. Impaired judgment.

Fear of the Unknown

  1. Fear of being admitted to a psychiatric facility.

  2. Perception that psychosis is a "life sentence."

System Failures

  1. Lack of resources.

  2. Poorly defined referral paths.

  3. "Wait and see" approach.

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