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Sustainability of treatment effect of a 3-year early intervention programme for first-episode psychosis

  • Wing Chung Chang (a1), Vivian Wing Yan Kwong (a2), Emily Sin Kei Lau (a2), Hon Cheong So (a3), Corine Sau Man Wong (a2), Gloria Hoi Kei Chan (a2), Olivia Tsz Ting Jim (a2), Christy Lai Ming Hui (a2), Sherry Kit Wa Chan (a1), Edwin Ho Ming Lee (a2) and Eric Yu Hai Chen (a1)...

Evidence indicates that the positive effects of 2-year early intervention services for psychosis are not maintained after service withdrawal. Optimal duration of early intervention in sustaining initial improved outcomes remains to be determined.


To examine the sustainability of the positive effects of an extended, 3-year, early intervention programme for patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) after transition to standard care.


A total of 160 patients, who had received a 2-year early intervention programme for FEP, were enrolled to a 12-month randomised-controlled trial ( NCT01202357) comparing a 1-year extension of the early intervention (3-year specialised treatment) with step-down care (2-year specialised treatment). Participants were followed up and reassessed 2 and 3 years after inclusion to the trial.


There were no significant differences between the treatment groups in outcomes on functioning, symptom severity and service use during the post-trial follow-up period.


The therapeutic benefits achieved by the extended, 3-year early intervention were not sustainable after termination of the specialised service.

Corresponding author
Wing Chung Chang, Department of Psychiatry, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong. Email:
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Declaration of interest

E.Y.H.C has been a member of the paid advisory board for Otsuka, and has received educational grant support from Janssen-Cilag, Eli Lilly, Sanofi-Aventis and Otsuka. E.H.M.L has been a member of the paid advisory boards for Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca.

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Sustainability of treatment effect of a 3-year early intervention programme for first-episode psychosis

  • Wing Chung Chang (a1), Vivian Wing Yan Kwong (a2), Emily Sin Kei Lau (a2), Hon Cheong So (a3), Corine Sau Man Wong (a2), Gloria Hoi Kei Chan (a2), Olivia Tsz Ting Jim (a2), Christy Lai Ming Hui (a2), Sherry Kit Wa Chan (a1), Edwin Ho Ming Lee (a2) and Eric Yu Hai Chen (a1)...
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