Attitudes of patients toward the first psychotic episode and the start of treatment

Lieuwe de Haan, Bart Peters, Peter Dingemans, Luuk Wouters, Don Linszen
Schizophrenia Bulletin 2002, 28 (3): 431-42
Consecutively admitted patients with recent-onset schizophrenia disorders (n = 56) were interviewed about their awareness of mental disorder at first occurrence of psychotic symptoms, their views about the necessity of psychiatric treatment, their perception of the role of others in initiating psychiatric treatment, and suggestions they might have about getting treatment started at an earlier point in time. About 57 percent of the patients had at least some awareness of having a mental disorder at onset of psychotic symptoms, and 61 percent of the sample believed psychiatric help was unnecessary prior to the start of psychiatric treatment. A majority of the patients (91%) perceived others to be essential in initiating treatment. Most patients (82%) thought that no change is needed on the part of professional caregivers in order to facilitate early treatment. Some awareness of mental disorder at onset was related to a shorter duration of untreated psychosis (DUP). Delaying treatment until patients themselves become aware of the need for treatment may enlarge DUP.

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