New data on the effects of social support after the onset of psychosis suggests that patients with intense social support function better than those without such help, but than once supports are removed the effects eventually diminish.
These findings revealed this week by Joseph P. McEvoy at the 28th US Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress being held this week in San Diego, according to the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC).
McEvoy began research ten years ago into prevention programs for those at risk of psychosis and found that connecting patients with their families and friends “can pay dividends.” His focus has now shifted toward examining how social supports can be leveraged to prevent progression to psychosis.
His research, collected over ten years from 5 different countries, indicates that patients who had intense social support for the first 2-3 years “functioned far better than those who lacked such help.” When the social support programs ended, however, the differences between these two groups diminished and, after ten years had passed, the two groups were “indistinguishable.”
“The best help for young adults who have had an episode,” McEvoy said, “is to reintegrate them with other people.” According to AJMC, McEvoy “showed a slide of an amputee whose prosthetic leg had been taken away,” then asked: “Would anyone expect that person to be able to run?”
McEvoy also presented his research on the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids used in early intervention psychosis programs, according to AJMC.
To see MIAs coverage of recent research on the use of omega-3 fatty acids in first episode psychosis click here→