February 12, 2019

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We showcase the winning posters from each day of IEPA 11, the 11th International Conference on Early Intervention in Mental Health, where researchers and experts in the field of early intervention came together for three days in Boston.

It’s not easy to distil detailed and complex research into a one-page poster that can be taken in at a glance. So we’d like to congratulate and showcase the daily ‘best poster’ winners from the recent IEPA conference, with the theme ‘Broadening the Scope’.

The first day’s winner was the fascinating ‘Cannabis and psychosis in youth: revisiting evidence from an 19th century population study’, which gave us an interesting historical perspective of early intervention. Author Dr Oyedeji Ayonrinde, from Queen’s University, Canada, revisited an 1898 report from the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission to show how the effect of cannabis on mental health is not a recent area of concern. The report investigated the country’s asylum admissions and relapse rates for ‘Indian hemp insanity’ (psychotic symptoms induced by cannabis) over one year. Its findings included that excessive use of cannabis ‘intensifies mental instability’, especially where people had an existing weakness or hereditary disposition. It is fascinating to see that in 19th century India, heavy cannabis use was understood to be a risk factor for psychosis, and that ‘the evidence for age restriction, harm reduction and early psychosis intervention foreshadowed contemporary knowledge’.

Daniel Devoe and colleagues at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute won best poster on day 2 for ‘Interventions and transition in youth at risk of psychosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis’, presenting their analysis of early intervention work in young people at clinical high-risk for psychosis. The authors, from the University of Calgary, summarised the impact of interventions on transitioning to psychosis in high-risk young people in a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Their analyses included a total of 38 studies and investigated the effect of all interventions, including psychological, pharmacological, family work and multi-component interventions on transitioning to psychosis. In a high-risk patient cohort, CBT significantly reduced transition to psychosis at both 12- and 18-months’ follow-up. Interestingly, there were no differences between the interventions seen at 6- and 12-months’ follow-up.

The final day of IEPA 11 saw Supriya Misra and colleagues from the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health and King’s College win best poster for ‘Discrimination and risk of psychosis among ethnic minorities’. Their work examined whether discrimination is a risk factor for psychosis within culturally and linguistically diverse communities, given the higher risk of psychosis for ethnic minorities. The study compared 1130 patients with early psychosis with an ethnically similar control sample of 1499 from the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks studying Gene-Environment data set. They found that people who had experienced three or more major types of discrimination did have an increased incidence of psychosis; however, exploratory causal mediation showed that experiencing major discrimination does not seem to account for the association between ethnic minority status and psychosis.

Congratulations to all the poster winners at IEPA 11. The poster sessions were a highlight of the conference, and it was inspiring to see researchers, students, clinicians and more come together to share their work and varied perspectives on the area of early intervention.

To learn more about this and other phenomenal content presented at IEPA11 , please access the full abstracts for the winning posters and all other presentations from the conference via Early Intervention in Psychiatry , the official journal of the IEPA Early Intervention in Mental Health.