Personal Health Budget (PHB) has recently been provided to people with severe mental illness, reflecting a policy shift towards a personalized mental health care based on individual unmet needs. However, evidence on effectiveness of PHB initiatives is still limited. Aim of this research was to provide preliminary data about the beneficial effects of adding PHB to a multicomponent EIP intervention in patients with First-Episode Psychosis (FEP) along a 2-year follow-up period.
Participants (n = 49) were FEP patients, aged 18-50 years, entered the “Parma Early Psychosis” program and completing the Health of Nation Outcome Scale (HoNOS), the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). Friedman test for repeated measure (with Wilcoxon test as post-hoc procedure) was performed to evaluate the longitudinal stability of functioning and clinical parameters. A linear regression analysis was also carried out.
A significant effect of time on all HoNOS, BPRS and GAF scores along the 2 years of follow-up was found. Regression analysis results specifically showed a relevant association between a PHB multiaxial intervention and the longitudinal decrease in BPRS “Negative Symptoms” subscores, as well as in HoNOS “Behavioral Problems” and “Social Problems” scores.
Our results support the general applicability of a PHB approach within an “Early Intervention in Psychosis” program for help-seeking adults with FEP.