Friday, 8 March 2013

Training to recognise the early signs of recurrence in schizophrenia.

Training in early warning signs techniques encourages people to learn, detect and recognise the early warning signs of future illness. Studies indicate that noticing even small changes in signs and symptoms of schizophrenia can often predict future illness and relapse two to 10 weeks later.

Read the full summary here:

From a service user perspective (SUPER), training in recognising early warning signs of illness and relapse seems like a good idea.  Training helps people with mental health problems, health professionals, families and carers to anticipate future illness.  This is preventative, helping people to avoid relapse and admission to hospital.  But it is also a collaborative endeavour, leading to personal insight about illness and self- understanding, so giving people with mental health problems more ownership, a greater say and more power to build their own recovery.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the authors of the review note that it is possible that training in recognising early warning signs might have difficulties and negatives.  For example, there might be increased depression due to an increased self-focus.  Awareness of illness has also been linked to suicidal thoughts.  Another negative effect might be increased medication due to the increased reporting of people’s symptoms, without reducing relapse.

However, on balance, training and keeping a personal logbook, reflective diary or folder would seem to offer people more insight, control and say in their care.

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