Health care professionals’ views of communicating adolescents’ heightened risk of psychosis in clinical practice ˗ ethical aspects in early intervention

Poster A32, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Virve Edlund1,2, Niklas Granö1, Anna-Maija Pietilä2; 1Helsinki University Central Hospital, 2University of Eastern Finland

Aim: The purpose of this study was to describe the health care professionals’ experiences regarding the communication about the risk of psychosis in clinical practice and their views of ethical aspects. Methods: The study was conducted as a qualitative theme interview of health care professionals (n=11) in early intervention teams in Helsinki metropolitan area. The group interviews were carried out in April and May 2016. The data were analyzed by using inductive content analysis. Results: According to the analysis the main categories of communication of adolescents’ risk of psychosis are 1) sharing information through a dialogical process, 2) ensuring the adolescent’s and the family’s understanding about the risk of psychosis, 3) balancing communication depending on the client’s ability to adapt to the information and 4) supporting the adolescent’s and the families participation to care. The results show that in the ethical sense the benefit of early communication is obtaining the soothing knowledge that the issue at hand is merely about the risk of psychosis and it can be influenced through reducing the stress and improving the functional ability. The harm of the communication is the risk of stigma, overemphasizing the risk status and the side-effects of medication. Furthermore, protecting the rights of the adolescent and the family requires moral courage and ethical awareness of the health care professionals. Conclusions: The communication of the risk of psychosis plays a vital role in the early intervention and ethical awareness should be emphasized in clinical practice.

Topic Area: Ethical Issues

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