Early Intervention for Psychosis in Quebec (Canada): Successes and Challenges for Both Academic and Non-Academic Programs

Poster C45, Saturday, October 22, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Marie Nolin1, Amal Abdel-Baki1,2,3, Phil Tibbo4, Nicola Banks5, Ashok Malla6; 1Université de Montréal, 2Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, 3Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM-HND), 4Dalhousie University, 5Executive director, Canadian Consortium for Early Intervention in Psychosis, 6McGill University

Early intervention services (EIS) were implemented in the province of Quebec in the last 20 years without local guidelines. A guide to implementation of EIS in Quebec was published in 2014. The 2015-2020 Mental Health Action Plan of the Quebec Health Ministry aims to develop EIS in each region. Academic centers first developed EIS, but in the last few years, many non academic centers (often in semi-rural areas) are trying to adapt the model. Although the literature highlights elements considered essential for EIS, studies conducted elsewhere revealed that important components are often missing. No review of practices of Quebec EIS was ever conducted. An on-line benchmark survey covering administrative, clinical, education and research topics was administered to all 19 Quebec EIS. Results were compared between academic and non-academic EIS, and to existing guidelines \ recommendations on essential EIS components. Most surveyed programs offer services based on EIS core principles. However, differences are observed among programs on administrative and organisational topics, and practices sometimes diverge from expert recommendations. Non-urban EIS encounter extra challenges related to their geographic position and lower population density, affecting team size/ composition, specialized psychosocial interventions and intensity of follow-up. Newly implemented EIS, mostly non-academic, tend to follow more closely expert recommendations. Some regions do not have EIS. Making clinical guidelines available to care providers is not sufficient for changing practices. Continued mentoring and networking of clinicians and researchers, the use of fidelity scales and the support from policymakers could help programs attain and maintain the best standards.

Topic Area: Service System Development and Reform

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