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Studies in High Risk Populations

OASIS Prison in-reach team

OASIS Prison in-reach team. A service for prisoners at high risk of developing psychosis

Why are we doing this research?

In the last decade early detection and early intervention services have been available to SLAM community residents but not to prisoners. This is despite the high prevalence of psychosis among the prison population, which has been estimated to be much higher than among the general population (5.2% vs 0.4%, Brugha et al, 2005). The aim of the project is to roll-out an early detection and early intervention service in Her Majesty’s Prison Brixton.

What are we doing? 

The new clinical team works closely with the in-reach psychiatric mental health service and within the existing time structure of the prison.

Prisoners resident in SLAM aged 21-35 are screened during their first week induction to prison using the screening instrument developed in our pilot study.

Prisoners who meet criteria for the at risk mental state are provided with an intervention package comprising social support plus cognitive behaviour therapy, antidepressant and antipsychotic medication, depending on the presentation and the client’s preferences. Treatment will start in prison and the same clinician will continue seeing the prisoner when they are released into the community. Clients will be followed up for a period of 2 years after the initial assessment, and closely monitored for any signs of transition to psychosis. Clients will usually be weekly for the first 6 to 12 months and than monthly.

Economic impact will be calculated in collaboration with the Centre for the Economics of Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, KCL

Who is involved?

King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and Her Majesty’s Prison Brixton

Who funds the study?

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charitable Foundation


Dr Lucia Valmaggia 

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