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Psychosis and schizophrenia
  1. Philippa Prentice
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philippa Prentice, Department of Paediatrics, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Box 116, Level 8, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK; pmp24{at}

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Introduction and information about the current guideline

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guideline ‘Psychosis and schizophrenia: recognition and management of psychosis and schizophrenia in children and young people’ was published in January 2013.1 This includes guidance on psychosis and schizophrenia (schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, delusional disorder and schizophrenia), in children/young people up to 18 years, and those at high risk or prodromal for psychosis (‘possible psychosis’). It provides specific recommendations on early identification of psychosis; access to treatment across healthcare services; and the role of psychological, psychosocial and pharmacological interventions. Definitions used in the guideline are detailed in table 1, and the guideline links and resources are shown in box 1.

Box 1



  • Link to National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guideline and full guideline


  • Link to NICE pathway on guideline


  • Link to public information on guideline

  • Kendall T et al3

  • Summary by the Guideline Development Group of the NICE guideline

View this table:
Table 1

Definitions as used in the guideline

Previous guidelines

This is the first national guideline focusing on psychosis, specifically in children/young adults. Relevant recommendations from previous adult guidelines have been incorporated, including from the NICE guideline on adult schizophrenia.

Key issues that the guideline addresses


A child/young person presenting for the first time with sustained psychotic symptoms, or possible psychosis, should be seen without delay by specialist mental health services. Referral should be made to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) (up to 17 years), or …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.