Experiences of engagement with early intervention services for first episode psychosis: a longitudinal qualitative study

Poster C55, Saturday, October 22, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Rachel Tindall1,2, Kelly Allott2, Magenta Simmons2, Bridget Hamilton1; 1The University of Melbourne, Department of Nursing, 2Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health

Specialist mental health services have been designed and implemented to provide treatment for young people who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis. However, treatment can only be effective if the young person participates in it, which is of particular concern as attrition rates are as high as forty-six per cent. The existing research about engagement and disengagement with early intervention services is predominantly quantitative, which does not allow for the subjective and interpersonal stories of engagement to be heard. The qualitative literature has been obtained at set time points from young people with a first episode of psychosis. This is not ideal as engagement is a process that changes over time, and involves the young person, their caregivers and their treating team. This paper addresses the gap in the literature and outlines the research methodology of a longitudinal qualitative study that is currently being undertaken. This study aims to understand the experiences of engagement with a psychosis early intervention service over the initial first year of treatment, and to explore the different roles that the client, the clinician and caregivers fulfil in maintaining engagement. This is being accomplished through a series of qualitative case studies, following the client and their associated clinician and caregiver during their first year of treatment for a first of episode psychosis. It is anticipated that the results of this study will inform clinicians, services and policy makers about engagement, guiding changes to individual practices, service design and both local and national policies.

Topic Area: Service System Development and Reform

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