Real-World, Multifaceted Treatment for First-Episode Psychosis Improves Multiple Patient Outcomes

October 20, 2015

Arlington, Va., Oct. 20, 2015 – A new treatment program for young patients in their first episode of psychosis called NAVIGATE has reported significant advantages in symptom ratings, participation in school or work and quality of life. The effects are especially pronounced for patients whose illness had lasted less than 74 weeks prior to first treatment.

NAVIGATE has four components: personalized medication management, family psychoeducation, resilience-focused individual therapy, and supported education and employment. This team-based, multicomponent treatment program is designed to be implemented in routine mental health treatment settings and was shown to be superior to standard treatment.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the report was released online today in The American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP) at AJP in Advance.

The study’s lead author, John M. Kane, M.D., stated: “The NAVIGATE program was designed for real-world conditions, so it can be implemented in many U.S. community clinics. Comprehensive treatment for first-episode psychosis is already available in some other countries. The finding that NAVIGATE was especially important for patients who received treatment early in their illness underscores the need for interventions that are tailored to new patients, to keep them from developing chronic illness.”

The NAVIGATE program was developed as part of the Early Treatment Program of RAISE (Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode), an initiative of the NIMH.

Thomas R. Insel, M.D., the head of NIMH, emphasizes the value of adapting and optimizing currently known, evidence-based practices. “While there is every reason to seek new and better treatments for schizophrenia, RAISE reminds us that we can achieve better outcomes by adapting the medical and psychosocial treatments we have today.”

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) plans to use this program and study findings in support of a major campaign to promote broader adoption of coordinated specialty care services for first-episode psychosis across the states. NAMI has arranged a Congressional briefing today, where John Kane and Lisa Dixon will present RAISE comparative effectiveness and implementation results to members and staff.
The American Journal of Psychiatry is the official journal of the American Psychiatric Association, a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses including substance use disorders. Visit the APA





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