The NIHR Dissemination Centre has written a summary of key research in the early intervention of psychotic disorders
The Liaison with Education and General Practices (LEGS) trial, part of an NIHR funded research programme, has found that a tailored education session doubled the early identification and referral of people with, or at risk of, psychotic illness compared to a postal educational campaign or practice as usual.
The trial, led by Professor Jesus Perez*, focused on improving identification and prompt referral of people with first episode psychosis and high risk mental states to early intervention services. The study aimed to educate general practitioners (GPs) about psychosis and guide their referrals to specialist care. It also sought to investigate determinants for developing a first episode of psychosis and to predict the incidence of new cases to guide policy and service planning.
The research programme included an epidemiologic study that was used to create a prediction tool called PsyMaptic which can estimate the number of people likely to have a first episode psychosis. This is being used by NHS England to support policies on early intervention service waiting times, and has been incorporated into NICE guidelines. The educational intervention of the programme supports GPs to implement this NICE guidance.
For more information about the research programme, please see the NIHR Signal
- Perez J, Russo DA, Stochl J, et al. Understanding causes of and developing effective interventions for schizophrenia and other psychoses. Programme Grants Appl Res. 2016;4(2).
- Perez J, Jin H, Russo DA, et al. Clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of tailored intensive liaison between primary and secondary care to identify individuals at risk of a first psychotic illness (the LEGs study): a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet Psychiatry. 2015;2(11):984-93.
* Professor Perez is a Consultant Psychiatrist, CAMEO Early Intervention Services at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
The LEGS trail was funded by the NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (PgAR).
The research was a collaboration between the following organisations:
- CAMEO Early Intervention in Psychosis Service, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
- Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge
- NIHR CLAHRC EoE – Professor Peter Jones, CLAHRC EoE Director
- Division of Psychiatry, University College London
- School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dundee