'Programma2000': a multi-modal pilot programme on early intervention in psychosis underway in Italy since 1999.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to describe a service operating in Milan, Italy, that provides early intervention for young people aged 17-30 years at the onset and at high risk of psychosis.
Following 2 years of preliminary study and organization, Programma2000 was launched in Milan in 1999. This programme was targeted at early detection and intervention in subjects at the onset of, at risk of, or showing 'prodromal' signs of psychosis. This paper contains data on the organization and activities of Programma2000.
The service has been active since its launch and has received 378 referrals as of March 2009, 342 of which were thoroughly evaluated. At entry, patients undergo a detailed evaluation of their psychopathology, personal and social role functioning, and cognitive status, with repeated testing over time in order to multidimensionally assess outcome. Treatment involves cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy, structured and unstructured psychosocial interventions, and pharmacotherapy when deemed necessary. Treatment appears effective in reducing morbidity and improving social functioning.
A team dedicated to the early identification and treatment of young people with early psychosis is a feasible and sustainable extension of the traditional methods of care for people with mental disorders in Italy.
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ABSTRACT: In Italy, as in many countries, relatives are closely involved in caring for persons with physical and mental disorders. The Italian scenario lends itself to routine involvement of family members in psychiatric treatment because, despite becoming smaller and smaller, Italian families keep close ties, and men and women do not leave the parental home until relatively late. The authors describe the impact of international family psychosocial research on the Italian mental health services (MHSs) and the main psychosocial interventions currently in use, including family psychoeducational interventions and the "Milan family therapy approach." They also highlight the contribution Italian researchers have given to the study of important variables in integrated mental disorder care, such as family burden of care, relatives' attitudes, family functioning, and satisfaction with the MHSs. Finally, they discuss the difficulties of implementing and disseminating family interventions within the Italian MHS, despite the growing evidence of their effectiveness.Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease 06/2014; 202(6):487-497. · 1.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Despite strong research interest in psychosis risk identification and the potential for early intervention, few papers have sought to document the implementation and evaluation of specialised psychosis related services. Assessment of Ultra High Risk (UHR) has been given priority, but it is equally as important to identify appropriate comparison groups and other baseline differences. This largely descriptive service evaluation paper focuses on the `baseline characteristics¿ of referred clients (i.e., previously assessed characteristics or those identified within the first two months following service presentation).Methods Data are reported from a 10-year layered service audit of all presentations to a `Psychological Assistance Service¿ for young people (PAS, Newcastle, Australia). Baseline socio-demographic and clinical characteristics (N =1,997) are described (including clients¿ psychosis and UHR status, previous service contacts, hospitalisation rates, and diagnostic and comorbidity profiles). Key groups are identified and comparisons made between clients who received ongoing treatment and those who were primarily assessed and referred elsewhere.ResultsClients averaged 19.2 (SD =4.5) years of age and 59% were male. One-tenth of clients (9.6%) were categorised as UHR, among whom there were relatively high rates of attenuated psychotic symptoms (69.1%), comorbid depression (62.3%), anxiety (42.9%), and attentional and related problems (67.5%). Overall, one-fifth (19.8%) experienced a recent psychotic episode, while a further 14.5% were categorised as having an existing psychosis (46.7% with a schizophrenia diagnosis), amongst whom there were relatively high rates of comorbid substance misuse (52.9%), psychosocial (70.2%) and physical health (37.7%) problems. The largest group presenting to PAS were those with non-psychotic disorders (43.7%), who provide a valuable comparison group against which to contrast the health trajectories of those with UHR and recent psychosis. Ongoing treatment by PAS was preferentially given to those experiencing or at risk for psychosis and those reporting greater current distress or dysfunction.Conclusions Whether or not UHR clients transition to psychosis, they displayed high rates of comorbid depression and anxiety at service presentation, with half receiving ongoing treatment from PAS. Although international comparisons with similar services are difficult, the socio-demographic and comorbidity patterns observed here were viewed as largely consistent with those reported elsewhere.BMC Psychiatry 11/2014; 14(1):318. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In November 2005 the Italian Center on Control of Maladies, a department operating under the Ministry of Health, financed a project aimed at evaluating the feasibility of a protocol of intervention based on the early intervention in psychosis (EIP) model within the Italian public mental health-care network. The study was carried out between March 2007 and December 2009. It involved five centres operating under the Departments of Mental Health of Milan (Programma 2000), Rome (area D), Grosseto, Salerno (Nocera) and Catanzaro (Soverato). Enrolment lasted 12 months, at the end of which 43 patients were enrolled as first-episode psychosis (FEP), and 24 subjects as ultra high-risk (UHR) patients. Both FEP and UHR samples included a preponderance of male patients. A family history of psychosis was rarely reported in both samples. The FEP incidence rate was lower than expected on the basis of international estimates of the incidence of schizophrenia but within the expected figure for the estimated Italian rates in three centres out of five. Overall, the study proved that an EIP centre can be established within the public Department of Mental Health to reach a good fraction of the cases in need of treatment. Since then, several studies have been set up to assess the feasibility of EIP in the Italian public mental health sector in Lombardy and Tuscany, and in 2012 the Emilia-Romagna Regional Authority started an educational plan aimed at implementing the EIP model in all the Mental Health Departments in the region.Early Intervention in Psychiatry 03/2014; · 1.65 Impact Factor