AIM: Reduced social network (SN) might be associated with a longer duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) in people with first episode psychosis (FEP). We aimed at exploring the specific role of SN confidants on DUP, taking into account cannabis misuse, which is known to influence DUP and might be associated with social functioning.
METHODS: People with FEP recently referred to an inner London Early Intervention Service were assessed with standardized instruments exploring SN characteristics, DUP and cannabis misuse.
RESULTS: Taking into account cannabis misuse, we found an association between confidants and DUP (P = 0.020), with the higher the number of confidants, the shorter the DUP.
CONCLUSIONS: Confidants may provide access to, and perceptions of, social support and this may increase early engagement for people with FEP, reducing DUP and possibly improving outcomes. Future research should identify correlates of small networks of confidants, which could inform early detection community initiatives.