The webinar highlights the importance of early intervention in schizophrenia to improve outcomes. The critical period for intervention is within the first two to five years following psychosis onset.
Studies show that this early phase is associated with a high risk of relapse, re-hospitalisation, and suicide. A comprehensive approach to the management of early psychosis, including personalised medication management, family psychoeducation, individual therapy, and supported education and employment, has been shown to improve outcomes.
The choice of antipsychotic medication is a crucial aspect of treatment. Second-generation antipsychotics are generally recommended as first-line therapy, with the selection based on side effect profiles and patient preferences.
However, the impact of second-generation antipsychotics in addressing negative symptoms remains modest. Negative symptoms, which persist even after positive symptoms have been controlled, significantly affect the well-being and quality of life of patients.
The treatment of negative symptoms lacks consensus, with different guidelines recommending various approaches. To address negative symptoms, a combination of pharmacotherapy and augmentation with an antidepressant is suggested.
In conclusion, meeting the unmet needs of patients living with schizophrenia requires a comprehensive approach that includes early intervention, personalized treatment, and consideration of side effects. By addressing these needs, healthcare professionals can strive to improve outcomes and enhance the quality of life for individuals with schizophrenia.
To watch a replay of the webinar, click here: https://event.webinarjam.com/go/replay/660/pl64lux4ntw2livlrcq