Pilot Study of Group Worry Intervention for First Episode Psychosis

Poster A92, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Teal Mackintosh1, Nichole Olson2, Alena Lee1, Rachel Weiler1, Kate Hardy2; 1PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium, 2Stanford University

Worry, defined as repeated negative thoughts about potential adverse outcomes, is common among individuals with psychosis and has been found to be a causal factor in the development of persecutory delusions (Freeman et al., 2015). Many of the underlying mechanisms of worry appear to be consistent across psychotic and emotional disorders, supporting the use of interventions targeting worry in individuals with psychosis (Startup et al., 2016). Freeman and colleagues (2015) adapted existing CBT protocols for worry for a population experiencing longstanding psychotic symptoms. The results demonstrated that the intervention was effective in reducing worry, persecutory delusions, and delusional distress. However, there has yet to be a published adaptation of the protocol for individuals experiencing a recent onset of psychosis. The current study aims to adapt the worry intervention for first episode psychosis (FEP) populations in a group setting. Participants recruited from an early psychosis clinic participated in a pilot study of an 8-week group intervention covering cognitive-behavioral strategies for managing worry, including worry periods, worry postponement techniques, mindfulness and relaxation, and problem-solving. Pre- and post-intervention data was collected on worry, anxiety, depressive symptoms, psychotic symptoms, and perceived recovery from psychosis. In addition, qualitative feedback from group members was gathered during a post-intervention focus group. Data from this pilot study will be presented and implications of these results discussed.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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