What motivates help-seeking behavior ?

Poster A69, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Marlene Buch Pedersen1, Hanne-Grethe Lyse1, Erik Simonsen2, Julie Nordgård1,3; 1Region Zealand, Denmark, 2Psychiatric Research Unit, Region Zealand, 3University of Copenhagen, Denmark

What motivates help-seeking behavior? Marlene Buch Pedersen1 Hanne-Grethe Lyse Nielsen1 Erik Simonsen2, 3 Julie Nordgaard1, 3 1Early Psychosis Intervention Center, Psychiatry East, Region Zealand, Denmark 2Psychiatric Research Unit, Region Zealand, Denmark 3Institue of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Background Research indicates that a long duration of psychosis have negative effects on outcome. A central challenge in early detection continues to be how to motivate people experiencing psychotic symptoms to seek help. Help-seeking behavior reflects a complex decision-making process, initiated by recognition of a problem leading to the intentional action of seeking help. Yet, lack of insight into illness is a common phenomenon in psychosis, which impedes recognition of the psychiatric problem and thus help-seeking behavior. Knowledge of what motivates people to seek psychiatric help are paramount for strengthening help-seeking behavior. Aim To identify factors of relevance for motivating help-seeking behavior in first episode psychosis. Methods Qualitative, phenomenologically oriented interviews with 10 first episode psychosis patients were transcribed verbatim. The analysis adhered to the principles of thematic analyses and was carried out in a joint effort between the authors. Results We identified five themes were of importance in motivating help-seeking behavior: 1) an intolerable social situation; 2) some degree of insight in psychosis; 3) Identification of relevant help; 4) intimates suggested psychiatric help, and 5) double bookkeeping e.g., seeking psychiatric help though not believing to be sick. Conclusion The main motivation for help-seeking behavior was an intolerable social situation, and not the psychotic symptoms. Several had unsuccessfully sought help before, but they had not identified their problems as psychiatric in nature and consequently sought help from less relevant authorities. Our findings suggest that we need to broaden our focus on how to reach vulnerable people at risk of psychosis.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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