In this issue of JAMA Psychiatry, Chan et al1 present new and important findings on the long-term effects of early intervention programs for patients with first-episode psychosis on the risk of suicide. Using a historical cohort matched to 617 individuals included in the early intervention group, the authors show that the 2-year intervention significantly reduced the suicide rate in the first 3 years after initiation of treatment and that there was no relapse in suicide rates after the initial 3 years. Throughout the 12-year follow-up period, 27 (4.4%) died by suicide in the intervention group and 46 (7.5%), in the control group. Given the relative rarity of suicide, it requires a large sample to be able to show association of any intervention when death by suicide is the primary outcome. To our knowledge, this study1 is the first to show an association between suicide rates and psychosocial interventions in patients with first-episode psychosis.
Albert N, Madsen T, Nordentoft M. Early Intervention Service for Young People With Psychosis: Saving Young Lives. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(5):427–428. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.0662
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