Pathway to care in a Swiss specialized program for the early phase of psychosis (TIPP program)

Poster A109, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Alessandra Solida1, Mehdi Gholam-Rezaee2, Philippe Golay1, Philipp S. Baumann1, Philippe Conus1; 1Service of General Psychiatry, Department of psychiatry CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2Center of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Department of psychiatry CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland

Purpose: Understanding the “pathways to care” (PTC) of psychotic patients is crucial when implementing early psychosis (EP) programs in order to decrease the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP). Methods: We explored, through face to face interview and file audit, the pathways taken by the first 107 EP patients admitted to a newly implanted early intervention program (TIPP) in the Lausanne area (population of about 300’000), Switzerland. Results: The most frequent first contacts were somatic emergency department and general practitioners (GP). GP as first contact was associated with longer DUP and a larger number of contacts. First contact with private psychiatrist and public psychiatry was also linked to a long DUP. Overall, the main reason of first contact with the health system was franc psychosis, and DUP was longer when patients were initially seeking help for other reasons. Starting PTC already in the prodromal phase was associated with a shorter DUP. Discussion: When starting an early psychosis program, most patients are referred via general emergency department often after a rather long delay. Mental health professionals also refer patients after extensive delay. It is therefore critical to develop close collaboration with general hospital emergencies and to spend time explaining to all partners the benefits of treatment by a specialized team. Without this, the risk is important that other health professionals waste precious time trying to engage patients often without success.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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