PsyMaptic went live on the internet earlier this week. It provides prediction estimates of the expected annual number of new cases of clinically-relevant first episode psychotic disorders in local authorities in England and Wales. (Read press release from the Cambridge News).
This freely-available tool is supported by the Wellcome Trust and the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough [CLAHRC-CP]. PsyMaptic will provide useful estimates of the expected incidence of clinically-relevant psychotic disorder in England and Wales. Along with a package of other measures, and indicators, PsyMaptic should be useful for health service commissioners, early intervention psychosis services, local authorities and other stakeholders in understanding local need and inequalities in severe mental illness.
To access the tool, please visit www.psymaptic.org and click on “prediction” in the top menu.
PsyMaptic combines empirical data about psychosis risk in different sociodemographic groups and the population structures of local authority regions. Thus, we can obtain a forecast of the new cases of first episode psychosis we would expect to accrue in different regions, based on the age, sex, ethnicity and population density of the region.
We have road-tested this tool in a large region of England (East Anglia); it works well in predicting the caseloads of clinically-relevant (i.e. ICD-10 F10-39) first episode psychosis seen in Early Intervention Services [EIS] in the region, for people aged 16-35 years. Full details are provided for your interest in the attached publication.
We recognise that EIS, and other mental health services, will legitimately see an additional caseload, including adolescents aged 14-15 years experiencing FEP, those people taken on by services as “at-risk mental states” or for extended assessment; these people may not yet meet clinical thresholds for psychosis, and others with complex needs may require triage and further care even though they be deemed not to have a clinically-relevant psychotic disorder.
PsyMaptic is live, in beta mode. We recommend that interested parties read the published description of the tool before using the prediction statistics. As with all predictions, they contain a degree of uncertainty, which we have tried to express by reporting a range within which any of our predictions could fall.
We will continually update PsyMaptic to account for new data available to us. Please let us know how the estimates compare with your own, observed information where relevant. By feeding the model new data, we can continue to improve the predictive accuracy of the tool. Part of this process will involve gathering feedback from Mental Health Trusts and services to understand where our tool performs well, and where it requires improvement. For this reason, the tool is currently made freely available in beta mode, during which time we will assess its performance throughout England and Wales.
We hope that this tool will be useful in allowing services for severe mental illness to be tailored to the local need of different populations. We welcome all feedback from our users. Please reply to the email address here (firstname.lastname@example.org) or respond via our website.
Thank you for your interest in PsyMaptic and your contribution to its further development. Please tell your colleagues about this work.
Dr James Kirkbride and Professor Peter Jones
Kirkbride, James B., et al. “A population-level prediction tool for the incidence of first-episode psychosis: translational epidemiology based on cross-sectional data.” BMJ Open 3.2 (2013).