Service User's Experience of a First Episode Psychosis (FEP) and a FEP Service: a Qualitative Study

Poster A79, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Deirdre Muller- Neff1, Karen O Connor2, Lisa Browne2; 1North Lee Mental Health Service, Mercy university hospital, Grenville Place, Cork city, Ireland, 2Home Based Treatment Team, South Lee Mental Health Service, Blackrock Hall, Mahon, Cork, Ireland

Aim: To examine subjective experience of a first episode psychosis and the experience of a specialised FEP service in order to inform service planning and provision in the future. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 service users either currently or previously treated by the FEP service. Data analysis identified emergent themes related to the experience of becoming unwell and the experience of a specialised FEP service. Results: Five main themes were identified from thematic analysis of the data, including: (i) premorbid perceptions of mental illness; (ii) perceived stigma attached to mental illness; (iii) factors relating to delayed help seeking; (iv) positive experiences of the service; (v) negative experiences of the service. Conclusions: There is a large body of evidence that demonstrates the importance of early intervention in FEP using evidence-based treatments that promote therapeutic engagement. The themes in our study reflect the complexities associated with meaningful therapeutic engagement. Our data also captures a variety of factors that result in delayed help seeking, such as perceived stigma from friends and family and a lack of trust in healthcare providers. Positive experiences resulted from positive interpersonal interactions with healthcare providers, involvement in treatment decisions and the perceived ability of healthcare providers in instilling hope for recovery. Negative experiences reflected early treatment experience where lack of communication, particularly regarding explanation of current symptoms and feedback were viewed to be inadequate, leading to decreased trust. Keywords: Qualitative research, thematic analysis, First episode psychosis, stigma, engagement

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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