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Invited Address II by Robert Heinssen- Bridging the Science-to-Practice Divide in Early Serious Mental Illness
Saturday, 21 September 2019
08:45 - 09:45
Grand Ballroom A-D
The past two decades have witnessed significant progress in scientific investigation of the earliest phases of psychotic disorders, with growing understanding of illness and disability mechanisms. Early identification and intervention programs have been developed and tested in several countries, with accumulating evidence that early treatment facilitates recovery and improves functional outcomes. Although researchers have generated considerable knowledge about the early course of psychosis, the decision to implement evidence-based programs often resides with policy makers who may not possess scientific training. This presentation considers strategies for improving communication between clinical research and mental health policy communities, including methods for engaging state and federal decision makers in the design, conduct, and analysis of early psychosis research projects. Bridging the gap between scientists and policy makers requires active engagement to find common interests, shared goals, and meaningful outcome measures. The Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) initiative illustrates one approach for connecting research and policy decision making in early psychosis treatment. Experience with RAISE has contributed to a program of deployment-focused research that is transforming early psychosis services in the United States, with changed expectations regarding the transfer of knowledge from clinical laboratory to practice setting.