Psychosis can make living a normal life very difficult. New research shows patients who receive early treatment for pyschosis may recover more quickly.

Psychosis may include hallucinations, delusions and impaired thinking. It is known to be the most critical “state of confusion”. According to Wenche ten Velden Hegelstad, doctoral fellow at Stavanger University Hospital/University of Bergen symptoms can severely impact one’s life and ability to function.

Information from preceding years demonstrates the significance of early intervention. Patients who receive help earlier have an improvement of prognosis for recovery and reduced risk in suicidal behavior.

In the Early Intervention In Psychosis 1997-2000 study (TIPS) funded by the Research Council of Norway’s Program on Public Health, the primary objective was to reduce the time between the appearance of symptoms that are linked to psychosis and intervention of medical help.

In 1997 an early detection team was originated in hopes to help those who may have psychosis symptoms. Since then extensive information and campaigns have been push forth to spread the news about this service. Prior to the information presented in TIPS patients had to wait nearly more than 26 weeks before any medical intervention.

It has been noted with early detection patients, three out of 10 patients are fully recovered after 10 years. Some remain symptom free for at least six months and function well in their day-to-day routines. Three out 0f 10 also maintain full-time employment.

In a control group in Oslo University Hospital and Roskilde Hospital in Denmark, who waited an average four times longer for intervention, only half would be considered recovered and fewer was able to maintain full-time employment.

While the symptoms experienced after one, three and five years was more positive for patients in Stavanger compared to those in Oslo or Roskilde, the difference disappeared after ten years; the level of symptoms experienced among the control groups was at that point the same as the TIPS patients. Nevertheless, the TIPS patients were healthier and functioned more normally.

Early intervention is becoming more popular in Norway. Targeted early intervention is also gaining popularity in America in regards to treating mental disorders such as autism.