Developing a university based early psychosis program; overview of epicenter

Presentation First Author: 
Nicholas Breitborde

To date, university medical centers have served as the primary setting for early psychosis programs within the United States. The Early Psychosis Intervention Center (EPICENTER) at the University of Arizona is an example of such a university-based clinic. EPICENTER was established in February 2010 with funding from the Institute for Mental Health Research and the University of Arizona and provides care to 34 individuals with first-episode psychosis and 38 caregiving relatives. The goals of EPICENTER are (i) to promote recovery among individuals early in the course of a psychotic illness; (ii) provide support/education to family caring for individuals early in the course of a psychotic illness; and (iii) to develop improved treatments for first-episode psychosis. To accomplish these goals, EPICENTER provides a transdiagnostic intervention package for individuals early in the course of a psychotic disorder. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of EPICENTER and discuss the advantages and challenges associated with establishing an early intervention clinical service within a university medical center. Additionally, I will discuss efforts (i) to integrate EPICENTER within the local system of psychiatric services; (ii) to involve community members in shaping EPICENTER services; and (iii) to disseminate EPICENTER’s evidence-based treatments throughout local community mental health agencies. Finally, I will review outcome data among EPICENTER participants. These data suggest that the EPICENTER transdiagnostic intervention package is effective in promoting symptom remission, improving social functioning, maintaining educational/vocational stability, and reducing levels of anxiety and depression among individuals with first-episode psychosis (all p-values

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2013
Additional Authors: 
Nicholas Breitborde
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