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The EXTEND: Personalised Care for Early Psychosis study is a multi-centre NIHR-funded study exploring the impact of duration of Early Intervention in Psychosis care on outcomes for individuals experiencing their first episode of psychosis.

Psychosis is a severe and distressing form of mental illness that causes hallucinations and delusions. An Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) service offers treatment in the community to people with a first episode of psychosis. EIP offers care that includes medication, talking therapies, education about psychosis, physical health advice, support for families, and regular contact. There are over 150 EIP teams in England who treat over 10,000 new people per year. Research has shown that EIP is effective, that people prefer it to other forms of treatment, and that the service saves money overall.

... It feels impersonal that the decision is time-focused and not person-centric and I want to see if the balance can be changed - Service user

Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) is currently meant to be given for three years to everyone. After this time, those who are well are discharged to their GP, while those with ongoing symptoms are transferred to the care of a general community mental health team. People can still be experiencing difficulties at this time of change and might benefit from longer treatment with EIP. We also know that some people who are well could possibly have been discharged back to their GP earlier. We want to develop a more tailored approach based on the needs of each individual and understand the health, social, and cost benefits of this approach.

Whilst the EIP care that I received was fantastic. I felt the length of care I received was too short... - Service user

The EXTEND study is a team of researchers from universities across the UK, led by Professor Belinda Lennox from the University of Oxford and Professor Paul French from Manchester Metropolitan University. The EXTEND Study is funded in full by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), as part of their Programme Grants for Applied Research (Ref: NIHR203277).

I find that a one-size fits all approach is inadequate and some patients and families may need more or less support from early intervention services depending on the severity and duration of their psychosis... - Service user

The quotes on this page are taken from responses by members of the EXTEND service user and carer Involvement Group (EXTEND-InG) to specific questions. To read the full versions of these responses please see this blog post.

Blog posts

According to EXTEND-InG

Members of the EXTEND Involvement Group on why the EXTEND project is important and why they've got involved.