Importance: Intersecting factors of social position including ethnoracial background may provide meaningful ways to understand disparities in pathways to care for people with a first episode of psychosis.
Objective: To examine differences in pathways to care by ethnoracial groups and by empirically derived clusters combining multiple factors of social and clinical context in an ethnoracially diverse multisite early-intervention service program for first-episode psychosis.
Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used data collected on individuals with recent-onset psychosis (<2 years) by clinicians with standardized forms from October 2013 to January 2020 from a network of 21 coordinated specialty care (CSC) programs in New York State providing recovery-oriented, evidence-based psychosocial interventions and medications to young people experiencing early psychosis.
Exposures: Ethnoracial group and other factors of social position (eg, insurance status, living situation, English fluency, geographic region) intersecting with first-contact experiences (ie, type of first service, referral source, and symptoms at referral).
Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcome measures were time from onset to first contact, first contact to CSC, and onset to CSC.
Results: The total study sample consists of 1726 individuals aged 16 to 30 years and included 452 women (26%), 1263 men (73%), and 11 (<1%) with another gender enrolled in the network of CSC programs. The total sample consisted of 153 Asian (9%), 599 Black (35%), 454 Latinx (26%), and 417 White individuals (24%). White individuals had a significantly shorter time from onset to first contact (median [IQR], 17 [0-80] days) than Asian (median [IQR], 34 [7-94] days) and Black (median [IQR], 30 [1-108] days) individuals but had the longest period from first contact to CSC (median [IQR], 102.5 [45-258] days). Five distinct clusters of individuals emerged that cut across ethnoracial groups. The more disadvantaged clusters in terms of both social position and first-contact experiences had the longest time from onset to first contact, which were longer than for any single ethnoracial group.
Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of individuals with recent-onset psychosis, time-to-treatment outcomes differed by ethnoracial group and by empirically derived clusters combining multiple factors of social and clinical context. The examination of disparities in durations to treatment through an intersectional, ethnoracial lens may improve understanding of the inequities resulting from the various intersecting factors that may compound delays in treatment initiation.