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Disclosure of Diagnosis in Early Recognition of Psychosis

Blessing, Andreas PhD*; Studer, Anna MSc; Gross, Amelie PhD*; Gruss, L. Forest PhD; Schneider, Roland*; Dammann, Gerhard PD, PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: October 2017 - Volume 205 - Issue 10 - p 757–761
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000729
Original Articles

There is a debate concerning risks and benefits of early intervention in psychosis, especially concerning diagnosis disclosure. The present study reports preliminary findings on self-reported locus of control and psychological distress after the disclosure of diagnosis in an early recognition center. We compared the ratings of the locus of control and psychological distress before and after communication of diagnosis. The study included individuals with an at-risk mental state (ARMS) (n = 10), schizophrenia (n = 9), and other psychiatric disorders (n = 11). Results indicate greater endorsement of the internal locus of control in individuals with ARMS after communication of diagnosis in contrast to the other groups. Our results suggest that disclosure of diagnosis in an early recognition center leads to a reduction of psychological distress and increased feelings of control over one's health. Persons with ARMS seem to particularly benefit from disclosure of diagnosis as part of early intervention.

*Psychiatrische Klinik Münsterlingen, Münsterlingen; †Psychologisches Institut, Universität Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland; ‡Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida; and §Paracelsus Medizinische Privatuniversität Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.

Send reprint requests to Andreas Blessing, PhD, Alterstagesklinik Weinfelden, Brauereistrasse 18, CH-8570 Weinfelden, Switzerland. E-mail:

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