A Model of DUP in Northwest Oregon, USA: Recognition, Interpretation and Intermediaries.

Poster A62, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Shannon Blajeski1, Ryan Melton2; 1University of Washington, 2Portland State University

A longer duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is associated with worse psychiatric and social functioning, with an average DUP length of 1-3 years in the U.S. Our aim in this study was to examine the DUP period for first episode psychosis in Northwest Oregon, with a focus on the social processes between the first positive symptom of psychosis and first psychiatric treatment. To investigate the course of DUP, researchers used methods consistent with grounded theory design to collect and analyze interview data about the process between initial onset of psychotic symptoms and entrance into an early intervention program in both urban and rural settings. Fifteen semi-structured interviews of both young adults and parent or guardian occurred resulting in a composite sample of the experiences of nine young adults with first-episode psychosis. The first core theme of the DUP period was the presence of significant others who acted as an intermediary between recognition and first treatment. The second core theme was individual recognition of psychosis varying by type of positive symptom with hallucinations-only facilitating recognition and delusions complicating both recognition and the intermediary taking action. Arrest and visible deterioration secondary to psychosis were additional influencing variables. Our study found no system-level barriers, with an average DUP of five months – mostly due to delays in seeking help. Overall this study revealed a model of DUP which suggests a need for intervention and support for families and other professionals to correctly interpret psychosis in order to shorten DUP.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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