History of offending behavior in first episode psychosis patients: a marker of specific clinical needs and a call for early detection strategies among young offenders

RĂ©gis Marion-Veyron, Martin Lambert, Sue M Cotton, Benno G Schimmelmann, Bruno Gravier, Patrick D McGorry, Philippe Conus
Schizophrenia Research 2015, 161 (2-3): 163-8

OBJECTIVES: Previous literature suggests that early psychosis (EP) patients with a history of offending behavior (HOB) have specific clinical needs. The aims of this study were to assess: (1) the prevalence of HOB in a representative sample of EP; (2) the premorbid and baseline characteristics of patients with HOB, and (3) the potential differences in short-term outcome of such patients when compared to patients without HOB.

METHODS: The Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre (EPPIC) admitted 786 EP patients between 1998 and 2000. Data were collected from patients' files using a standardized questionnaire. Data of 647 patients could be analyzed.

RESULTS: HOB patients (29% of the sample) were more likely to be male with lower level of premorbid functioning and education, have used illicit substances and have attempted suicide. They presented with a more complex clinical picture and had poorer 18-month outcome. Most importantly, they had a significantly longer duration of untreated psychosis.

CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of the high prevalence and specific features of EP patients with HOB, our study confirms a need for additional research in this domain and for the development of specific treatment strategies. Most importantly, it suggests a need for the promotion of early detection strategies among the populations of young offenders, considering that some of them may be going through the early phases of a psychotic disorder and that reduction of treatment delay and provision of well adapted interventions may have a significant impact at numerous levels in such patients.

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