Does early detection and treatment of psychosis improve employment outcomes?

A recent development within the mental health services is the focus on early detection and treatment, referred to as early intervention. This change in approach is most advanced in the treatment of psychotic conditions like schizophrenia. Evaluation of early intervention for psychosis services have shown that they are superior to traditional services in a number of ways. However, little is known about their impact on employment outcome. This HRB project will address this gap in knowledge by examining the employment outcomes, and the income attained from this work, amongst people who received treatment in an Irish early intervention for psychosis service. The focus on employment is due to its importance to our personal identity, sense of worth, and health. Research on the employment outcomes of people who receive treatment within traditional services has reported that the majority of people diagnosed with schizophrenia do not work on a regular basis. This has many adverse effects on their life and is costly for society. After determining how much work and income a group of people who were treated in the Dublin-Wicklow early intervention for psychosis service attained I will compare the results to research I previously conducted. The previous research determined the amount of work attained by a group of people with psychotic illnesses who received treatment in the more traditional way from the mental health services in South Dublin. I will also test if the amount of work attained by participants’ affects their mental health, social inclusion, recovery, and quality of life. The findings will be of interest to people with mental health conditions, their families, clinicians, service providers and policy makers. It will also assist health services to decide how much resources, if any, should be allocated to early intervention for psychosis services.

Award Date
25 April 2013
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Niall Turner
Host Institution
St John of God's Research Foundation Limited
Research Training Fellowships for Health Professionals