Ethical Considerations of Screening and Early Intervention for Clinical High-Risk Psychosis




Briana D. Cassetta & Vina M. Goghari

Ethics & Behavior

September 15, 2014



Research on individuals at clinical high risk for psychological and physical disorders has grown exponentially in recent years, with a variety of new screening tools and early intervention techniques being implemented. One recent example is Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome, a diagnosis for individuals who are at clinical high risk for psychosis, which was recently included in Section III of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Given the focus on prevention at early stages, at-risk individuals will continue to be a topic of significance not only in psychosis research but also in other illnesses. This document provides a comprehensive summary of the ethical dilemmas that clinicians or researchers may encounter in this domain, and possible actions consistent with the current Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists. We use clinical high risk for psychosis and the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists as a way to illuminate these ethical issues; however, application to other jurisdictions and disciplines, as well as other high-risk populations, is also of relevance.









Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee