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European prediction of psychosis study (EPOS)

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Novel means for assessing early trauma and distress

A new approach to assessing early traumatic experiences and distress which may contribute to the development of psychotic disorders has been developed.

Health

Through early recognition and intervention in patients at risk of development of psychosis, the long-term socio-economic costs of psychotic disorders may be reduced. The EPOS project was the first five-county prospective study to target untreated illnesses in early psychosis. The study predicted the transition to psychosis and the course of psychopathology for those who are at an increased risk of schizophrenia. A multi-level assessment was conducted with outcome measurements taken at 9 and 18 months so that a risk profile could be established. Furthermore, methods of intervention such as psychotherapy or medication were monitored and the results were evaluated accordingly. Following the review of the respective literature, the Trauma and Distress Scale (TADS) was designed to assess early traumatic experiences occurring in childhood and early adulthood in psychiatric samples. Additionally, distress which may contribute to the development of psychotic disorders can be evaluated. Potential end-users are psychiatric, psychological or public health investigators engaged in psychiatric research.

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