Suicidality over the first five years of psychosis: Does extending early intervention have benefits?

Notice bibliographique

Iyer, S., Mustafa, S., Moro, L., Jarvis, E., Joober, R., Abadi, S., Casacalenda, N., Margolese, H., Abdel-Baki, A., Lepage, M. et Malla, A. (2021). Suicidality over the first five years of psychosis: Does extending early intervention have benefits? The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry/La Revue canadienne de psychiatrie, 66(5), 468-476.


Objective: We aimed to investigate whether individuals with first-episode psychosis (FEP) receiving extended early intervention (EI) were less likely to experience suicidal ideation and behaviors than those transferred to regular care after 2 years of EI. Another objective was to examine the 5-year course of suicidality in FEP.

Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial where 220 patients were randomized after 2 years of EI to receive extended EI or regular care for the subsequent 3 years. Suicidality was rated using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Linear mixed model analysis was used to study time and group effects on suicidality.

Results: Extended EI and regular care groups did not differ on suicidality. There was a small decrease in suicidality over time, F(7, 1038) = 1.84, P = 0.077, with an immediate sharp decline within a month of treatment, followed by stability over the remaining 5 years. Patients who endorsed suicidality at entry (46.6%) had higher baseline positive, negative, and depressive symptoms. The 5-year course fell in 3 groups: never endorsed suicidality (33.9%), endorsed suicidality at low-risk levels (43.1%), and endorsed high-risk levels (23.0%). The high-risk group had a higher proportion of affective versus nonaffective psychosis diagnosis; higher baseline positive and depressive symptoms; higher 5-year mean depression scores, and fewer weeks of positive symptom remission over the 5-year course.

Conclusions: The first month of treatment is a critical period for suicide risk in FEP. Although early reductions in suicidality are often maintained, our findings make the case for sustained monitoring for suicide risk management.


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Dre Amal Abdel-Baki

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