Does Patrick McGorry’s ‘Ultra High Risk of Psychosis’ diagnosis training DVD pass the common sense test? View for yourself and decide.
The video blog contains an excerpt from a training DVD produced and sold by Orygen Youth Health that shows mental health professionals how to diagnose young people at ‘Ultra High Risk’ of becoming psychotic.(1) Orygen Youth Health is headed up by Professor Patrick McGorry.
The Orygen DVD includes a number of case studies showing mental health professionals how to conduct a diagnostic interview.
My video blog features the first of these case studies. In this case study Nick, an 18 year old apprentice electrician who clearly hates his job, is assessed as being at ultra-high risk of becoming psychotic (i.e. having Attenuated Psychosis).
In my non-expert opinion the evidence used to diagnose Nick is incredibly flimsy. Professor of Psychiatry at Flinders University Jon Jureidini agrees. In a commentary accompanying my video blog Professor Jureidini wrote that rather than being a credible learning tool, the Orygen DVD “provides a potential teaching tool for medical students in how not to carry out a psychiatric interview and interact with young people”.
Watch the video, apply common sense and decide for yourself; ‘is Nick Sick’ with ‘attenuated psychosis’ or is he simply very unhappy because he feels forced into a job he hates by his Dad.
Why does this all matter? Because Australia is rolling out expensive mental health reforms based on the work at Orygen driven by Professor McGorry. Yet as pointed out by the internationally respected Cochrane Collaboration the evidence base of his theories on early psychosis is ‘weak’ and in my opinion fails the common sense test.(2)
Martin Whitely MLA
(1) Orygen Youth Health Centre, 2009, “Comprehensive Assessment of At Risk Mental State (CAARMS) Training DVD”, The PACE Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne. see http://www.eppic.org.au/risk-mental-state accessed 3 September 2012
(2) Marshall M, Rathbone J. Early Intervention for Psychosis, Cochrane Summaries. June 15, 2011 http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD004718/early-intervention-for-psychosis ↩