This presentation was delivered by Jo Smith at the Worcestershire Early Intervention Service Study day, 9th June 2011.
Duration of Untreated Psychosis (DUP) is commonly defined as the time interval between onset of definite positive psychotic symptoms and first appropriate treatment. This is usually defined as first anti-psychotic treatment but where not on medication can use engagement and treatment in an Early Intervention (EI) service.
Longer DUP is associated with:
- Psychosocial decline
- Prolonged morbidity
- Increased treatment costs
- Worse course and outcome
- Increased duration of the acute episode
The ‘critical period’ hypothesis proposes that in the early phase of a psychosis there is:
- A plateau effect of psychopathology and disability
- The development of influential biological, psychosocial and cognitive factors
- The beginnings of desynchrony between clinical and social functioning
A shorter DUP gives a longer critical period within which to intervene and influence these processes