Understanding the Treatment Decision-Making Needs of Emerging Adults with Early Psychosis

Poster A42, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Elizabeth C Thomas1, Yaara Zisman-Ilani1, Alicia Lucksted2, Irene Hurford3, Mark S Salzer1; 1Temple University, 2University of Maryland, Baltimore, 3University of Pennsylvania

Despite the increasing availability of coordinated specialty care (CSC) programs for early psychosis in the United States, many emerging adults never derive clinical benefit due to high rates of service disengagement during the first several months of treatment. To promote the best long-term outcomes, there is a critical need to identify strategies that facilitate adequate early engagement (i.e., help-seeking, appointment attendance, engagement in treatment processes). Decision support interventions have been shown to increase service engagement, yet are lacking for emerging adults participating in CSC. A requisite step in expanding the array of decision support tools available to this population is to better understand emerging adults' decision-making needs and how these relate to their engagement in CSC. During this presentation, Dr. Thomas will discuss preliminary results from a qualitative study designed to achieve this aim. A purposive sampling design, stratified by level of service engagement (i.e., below average, average, above average), will be used to understand the range of individuals’ viewpoints, ideas, and preferences regarding treatment decision-making during the first six months after enrollment in a CSC program. Decision points of particular difficulty as well as barriers and facilitators to decision-making will be reported. Between-group differences in qualitative themes across service engagement, demographic, and clinical groups will be explored and discussed. This study will inform the development of a peer-delivered decision support intervention; as such, implications for this intervention will be highlighted.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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