Preventing a first episode of psychosis: meta-analysis of randomized controlled prevention trials of 12 month and longer-term follow-ups

Mark van der Gaag, Filip Smit, Andreas Bechdolf, Paul French, Don H. Linszen, Alison R. Yung, Patrick McGorry, Pim Cuijpers, P. McCorry

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275 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over the last decade many studies were conducted to assess the feasibility of early detection of people at risk of developing psychosis and intervention to prevent or delay a first psychotic episode. Most of these studies were small and underpowered. A meta-analysis can demonstrate the effectiveness of the efforts to prevent or postpone a first episode of psychosis. A search conducted according the PRISMA guideline identified 10 studies reporting 12-month follow-up data on transition to psychosis, and 5 studies with follow-ups varying from 24 to 48 months. Both random and fixed effects meta-analyses were conducted. The quality of the studies varied from poor to excellent. Overall the risk reduction at 12 months was 54% (RR=0.463; 95% CI=0.33-0.64) with a Number Needed to Treat (NNT) of 9 (95% CI=6-15). Although the interventions differed, there was only mild heterogeneity and publication bias was small. All sub-analyses demonstrated effectiveness. Also 24 to 48-month follow-ups were associated with a risk reduction of 37% (RR=.635; 95% CI=0.44-0.92) and a NNT of 12 (95% CI=7-59). Sensitivity analysis excluding the methodologically weakest study showed that the findings were robust. Early detection and intervention in people at ultra-high risk of developing psychosis can be successful to prevent or delay a first psychosis. Antipsychotic medication showed efficacy, but more trials are needed. Omega-3 fatty acid needs replication. Integrated psychological interventions need replication with more methodologically sound studies. The findings regarding CBT appear robust, but the 95% confidence interval is still wide
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume149
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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