Background: Patients with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum psychosis (FEP) are at risk of not visiting an out-patient psychiatrist and are assigned disability status within a short period after diagnosis. Objective: The aim of this study was to conduct a naturalistic follow-up of FEP patients to explore their use of mental healthcare services and the rate of assigned disability status after FEP. Methods: This was the first study in Latvia to include all consecutive patients with FEP admitted to the largest regional hospital in South East Latvia, Daugavpils Psychoneurological Hospital (DPNH). Patients received standard treatment in a real-world environment. The mean follow-up time was 33 months (Min = 20 months, Max = 40 months). Results: From the 94 consecutive FEP patients admitted to DPNH (1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017), 68 participated and provided informed consent to be followed up. During the first 12 months after discharge from the acute psychiatric ward, 23% (n = 14) never visited a psychiatrist, and 6.5% (n = 4) had a single visit to get prescription for medication. Furthermore, 36.1% (n = 22) had a rehospitalization during the first 12 months. At the end of follow-up period, 34.4% (n = 21) of patients were assigned disability status within a median time of 8 months (IQR 4.5‒20.0). Conclusion: Approximately, one-third of patients did not continue treatment as out-patients after FEP. One-third of FEP patients were assigned disability status. We suggest that Latvia needs improved treatment options for FEP patients, such as early intervention.
- out-patient care
Field of Science*
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database