Barriers, Challenges, and Solutions in Assisting Young Persons with Early Psychosis in Long-Term Career Planning

Poster A122, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Jennifer L. Humensky1,2, Denise N. Prieto2, Lisa B. Dixon1,2; 1Columbia University, 2New York State Psychiatric Institute

Purpose: Little is known about barriers and challenges that may influence the identification of long-term career goals among persons with early psychosis. We interviewed program staff to learn how they have designed services to address these challenges. Materials and Methods: We identified 26 programs in the US: all responded, though five had not begun operations. Two researchers conducted interviews of 48 program staff from 11/2015 to 3/2016. Qualitative data were entered into ATLAS.ti and a grounded theory approach guided the analysis. Results: Staff described helping clients identify intermediate steps to guide them in the process of achieving their long-term goals, which may entail both education and employment (e.g. if the person wants to eventually open her own restaurant, she might get a job in a restaurant now while pursuing business and culinary classes). Participants’ past experiences can influence their choices (e.g. if they had a psychotic break in school they might not want to return; solutions may include helping them pursue a job, while they decide when and how to continue further education). Family expectations can influence participants’ goals (e.g. parents may believe that work and school are too challenging for their child; solutions include psychoeducation for the participant and family). Training in organizational and time-management skills can help participants learn to succeed while managing symptoms. Conclusion: Staff noted that participants are generally highly motivated to become independent. Programs have been working with participants to design services to help overcome barriers. Future research should examine the views of participants.

Topic Area: Psychosocial Interventions

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