Waiting time variation in Early Intervention Psychosis Services: Longitudinal evidence from the SEPEA naturalistic cohort study

Kirkbride, James B., Hameed, Y. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9449-9460, Wright, L., Russell, K., Knight, C., Perez, J. and Jones, P. B. (2017) Waiting time variation in Early Intervention Psychosis Services: Longitudinal evidence from the SEPEA naturalistic cohort study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 52 (5). 563–574. ISSN 0933-7954

[thumbnail of Published manuscript]
PDF (Published manuscript) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (857kB) | Preview


Purpose: Early Intervention Psychosis [EIP] services have gained traction internationally, but are currently undergoing various forms of reconfiguration. In England, such services are now mandated to ensure 50% of accepted referrals commence care within 14 days, but no empirical evidence exists. We sought to estimate waiting times to EIP services in a large, representative epidemiological cohort in England, and investigate possible reasons for any variation.  Methods: We estimated median waiting time from referral to acceptance by EIP services and investigated whether this varied by clinical, demographic or neighbourhood-level factors, amongst 798 participants, 16–35 years old, presenting to six EIP services over 3.5 years in a defined catchment area serving 2.5 million people. We used parametric survival analysis to inspect variation in waiting times (in days).  Results: Median waiting time was 15 days (interquartile range 7–30), although this varied across services (p < 0.01). Waiting times increased over the case ascertainment period by an average of 4.3 days (95% CI 1.3, 6.2; p < 0.01). Longer waiting times were associated with greater diagnostic uncertainty, indexed by an organic presentation (+ 9.1 days; 95% CI 1.9, 16.6; p < 0.01), polysubstance abuse (+ 2.6; 0.6, 3.9; p < 0.01), absence of psychotic disorder (+1.8; −0.1, 3.0; p = 0.05) and insidious onset (+1.8; −0.1, 3.0; p = 0.06). Waiting times did not vary by most demographic or neighbourhood-level characteristics.  Conclusions: EIP services operate close to new waiting time standards in England, with little systematic variation by sociodemographic position. However, waiting times increased over the study period, coinciding with substantial service reorganisation. Longer waiting times associated with greater diagnostic uncertainty highlight opportunities to reduce delays in certain clinical groups at initial referral.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental health services,psychotic disorders,early intervention (education),health services research,cohort studies,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 May 2017 05:06
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2024 02:15
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/63612
DOI: 10.1007/s00127-017-1343-7


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item