On ‘Dignity’ and Finding a ‘New Path’: A Qualitative Analysis of Participant Experiences in the M3 Program

Poster B136, Friday, October 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Andie Thompson1, Angela Senders2,1, Alena Borgatti1, Kathryn Bodden2, Craigan Usher1, Celeste Seibel3, Lynne Shinto1; 1Oregon Health & Science University, 2National College of Natural Medicine, 3Portland State University

Purpose: The M3 Program: Meals, Mindfulness, and Moving Forward includes nutrition education, hands-on cooking classes, mindfulness meditation practice, physical activities, and facilitated group sharing. The program was designed as a supplement to standard of care for youths (age 15-25 years) with first-episode psychosis (FEP). Program objectives included building resilience while promoting skills that positively influence health. Data collection included quantitative and qualitative outcomes; this abstract reports the qualitative findings. Methods: During the last program session, we conducted separate participant (n=13) and study partner (n=11) focus groups. Individual semi-structured interviews with 11 participants at 6 weeks post-intervention were completed, audio-recorded, and transcribed. Utilizing grounded theory methods, thematic analysis was performed. Results: The main emerging themes of the focus groups were that the program environment provided participants with a sense of ‘Dignity’ and enabled them to consider a “New Path.” The focus groups revealed that the majority of participants developed a stronger belief in their capacity to make healthful lifestyle changes. However, many were unsure of how to sustain these changes post-program. Conclusion: The results suggest that young people with FEP value a non-stigmatizing space that allows for social engagement and facilitates healthy behaviors. Interviews performed at six-weeks post-program reveal that participants were appreciative of the “safe space,” but that the desired health behaviors were not maintained. Thus, in order to promote longer-term behavior change, on-going support based on the principles of M3 are being considered; this would include M3 booster sessions and using a mobile app.

Topic Area: Psychosocial Interventions

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