Keep it Real: A new web-based program for psychotic-like experiences in young cannabis users.

Poster C77, Saturday, October 22, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Leanne Hides1, Wendell Cockshaw1, Stoyan Stoyanov1, David Kavanagh1; 1Centre for Children's Health Research, Institute of Health & Biomedical Research, School of Psychology and Counseling, Queensland University of Technology

Psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) are subclinical psychotic symptoms that occur in 17-28% of young people, and have been associated with an increased risk of developing psychotic, depression and anxiety disorders. Cannabis has a robust causal association with the onset of psychotic disorders, and up to 90% of current users report PLEs. Young cannabis users with PLEs are unlikely to seek professional help due to concerns about confidentiality and stigma. Web and mobile phone treatments provide an anonymous and more accessible way of delivering treatment to this at-risk group. This paper reports the results of a pilot study which tested the feasibility and outcomes of Keep it Real among 213 young people (16-25 years), who had used cannabis in the past month, had a total CAPE15 score of >18 (at least 3 PLEs ‘sometimes’ or 1 PLE ‘nearly always’) in the past 3 months, and had a negative psychosis screen. High follow-up rates were achieved at 3 (89%) and 6 months (85%) follow up. Participants achieved significant reductions in the frequency of PLEs and their associated distress, as well as the frequency of cannabis use and related problems at 3 and 6 months follow up. While this study provides preliminary evidence of the positive impact of Keep it Real, a full scale randomized controlled trial is required to determine the efficacy of the program in young cannabis users with PLEs, compared to the minimal web-based information they may otherwise receive.

Topic Area: Substance Use

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