Stephen Wood

Stephen Wood
Stephen Wood is Professor of Adolescent Brain Development and Mental Health in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. He has a particular interest in the development of severe mental illness, using a variety of techniques to predict those at greatest risk.


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Childhood adversity and psychotic symptoms: how much can a growing evidence-base tell us?


Stephen Wood ponders the reliability of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis, which suggests that childhood adversity is significantly linked to an elevated risk of psychotic symptom persistence.

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Biological markers for treatment response in first episode psychosis


Stephen Wood summarises a systematic review of biological markers for treatment response in first episode psychosis, which discusses a number of hot topics in this field including inflammation, infectious disease and oxidative stress.

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Suicide prevention in schools: all plain SEYLE-ing?


Stephen Wood appraises the SEYLE cluster RCT that investigates the effectiveness of suicide prevention in schools. This is the first large-scale European study of universal interventions for suicide prevention in schools.

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Helping young people with psychosis return to work: early intervention services need to do more


Stephen Wood summarises a recent cluster RCT of vocational rehabilitation in early psychosis, which finds that early intervention services need to do more to help young people with psychosis return to work.

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Preventing serious adverse outcomes in schizophrenia


People diagnosed with schizophrenia are 7.4 times more likely to be convicted of violent offences, 8.1 times more likely to die prematurely, and 20.7 times more likely to kill themselves.

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A new model for schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia is a complex disorder (or, more likely, group of disorders) that has reality distortion at its core. Efforts to establish the cause of schizophrenia have been ongoing for more than a century, and many models have come and gone in that time (not for nothing has schizophrenia been called ‘the graveyard of neuropathologists’ (Plum, [read the full story…]

Meta-analysis finds that pituitary volume is not affected in people with first episode psychosis or schizophrenia


* Declaration; I have published articles with two of the authors of this article, including on this topic, and know most of them professionally One influential model of the onset of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia is the stress-vulnerability model, first put forward by Zubin and Spring in 1977. This model proposes that people at [read the full story…]

Are psychotic symptoms predictive of suicide attempts?


Over the past several years, there has been a lively academic debate about what it means to have psychotic symptoms. Although these symptoms (most commonly auditory hallucinations) can be part of the expression of a psychotic illness, on their own they are neither necessary nor sufficient for a diagnosis. In fact, researchers from many countries [read the full story…]

Evidence-based youth psychotherapies: better than usual care, but only for less severe cases

Young girl on train

Young people presenting with psychopathology may receive a wide range of treatments, such as family or cognitive behavioural therapy, skills training or behavioural contracting. Clearly it is important to know which of these interventions are best supported by evidence that they are effective in treating the presenting problem. Since some treatments have a significant evidence [read the full story…]

Joint Crisis Plans to prevent compulsory admissions: a good idea stymied by poor execution?

Doctor and patient talking

Good mental health care should involve the patient in determining their treatment, and should involve the least restrictive form of care possible. Although the Care Programme Approach (CPA) has resulted in patients in England routinely participating in planning their care, compulsory admissions to psychiatric hospitals have continued to rise over the past decade. Involuntary treatment [read the full story…]