A National network of schizophrenia expert centres: An innovative tool to bridge the research-practice gap
Eur. psychiatr.. 2015-06-10; 30(6): 728-735
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Schizophrenia is probably the most severe psychiatric disorder with much suffering for the patients and huge costs for the society. Efforts to provide optimal care by general practitioners and psychiatrists are undermined by the complexity of the disorder and difficulties in applying clinical practice guidelines and new research findings to the spectrum of cases seen in day-to-day practice. An innovative model of assessment aimed at improving global care of people with schizophrenia provided by the French national network of schizophrenia expert centres is being described. Each centre has established strong links to local health services and provides support to clinicians in delivering personalized care plans. A common set of assessment tools has been adopted by the ten centres spread over the whole French territory. A web application, e-schizo©has been created to record data in a common computerized medical file. This network offers systematic, comprehensive, longitudinal, and multi-dimensional assessments of cases including a medical workup and an exhaustive neuropsychological evaluation. This strategy offers an effective way to transfer knowledge and share expertise. This network is a great opportunity to improve the global patient care and is conceived as being an infrastructure for research from observational cohort to translational research.