April 24, 2024

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Dear IEPA members and Friends,

We are excited to announce the recent release of a special issue in the Early Intervention in Psychiatry Journal. This issue features a ground-breaking development in the field: the introduction of a new instrument called the Positive SYmptoms and diagnostic criteria for the CAARMS Harmonized with the SIPS (PSYCHS).

For over 20 years, two semi-structured psychometric instruments that define at-risk criteria have been widely used. These are the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS) (Yung et al., 2015) and the Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndromes (SIPS) (McGlashan et al., 2010). There has been a significant move in the field to develop more harmonized criteria for identifying young people who may be at clinical high risk of developing psychosis (CHR-P). The urgency for this work was driven by the Accelerating Medicines Partnership Schizophrenia Project (AMP SCZ), a global study funded by the NIH that focuses on predicting psychosis in individuals at clinical high risk (CHR). The project highlighted the need for common criteria and instruments around the world to allow comparison of findings across studies and meta-analyses.

The special issue includes a report on the initial workshop that laid the foundation for the harmonization (Addington et al., 2024) as well as a detailed description of the development of PSYCHS and its full harmonization with the CAARMS and SIPS criteria as well as information on how you can access the instrument and training materials (Woods et al., 2024). Additionally, the issue features eight commentaries from esteemed international experts in clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR-P), providing valuable insights into the PSYCHS tool and its development, considerations for implementation and recommendations for future research.

The development of PSYCHS represents a significant achievement in the early intervention field. We encourage all members to access and read this special issue to stay updated on this latest approach to CHR-P identification and attenuated symptom severity rating. You can access the special issue here.