To assess the attitudes of relatives of patients with psychosis to early diagnosis, the respective consequences and to specialised out-patient services for early detection, we undertook a postal questionnaire survey.
Eighty-five per cent of the respondents (n=200) would have visited a specialised out-patient service for early detection and 79% would have preferred to find out the diagnosis earlier. Some consequences of an early diagnosis (facing the problems associated with the illness earlier, having more appropriate behaviour towards the affected, earlier contact with other relatives and earlier treatment) are frequently mentioned.
Being favourable to both early diagnosis of psychosis and specialised out-patient services, most relatives are a useful source of support for professionals in convincing patients of diagnostic procedures and treatment.
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