Preliminary Findings from Washington State's New Journeys Program for Youth Experiencing First-Episode Psychosis.

Poster A34, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Hailey Reneau1, Oladunni Oluwoye1,2,3, Elizabeth Venuto4, Bryan Stiles5, Sarah Kopelovich5, Maria Monroe-DeVita5, Michael McDonell1,2,3; 1Initiative for Research and Education to Advance Community Health, Washington State University, Spokane WA, 2Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University, Spokane WA, 3Program of Excellence in Addictions Research, Washington State University, Spokane WA, 4Department of Social and Health Services, Washington State, Seattle WA, 5Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle WA

Background: Washington State’s New Journeys program is a multidisciplinary early intervention model designed to treat young people experiencing first-episode psychosis. We present descriptive and treatment outcomes from the second year of the New Journeys first-episode psychosis program. Methods: Descriptive statistics were used to analyze demographics and clinical characteristics of participants (N=66) at intake, recruited from three New Journey sites in Washington State. Psychiatric outcome measures were assessed during the first six months of program enrollment using generalized estimating equations (GEE) and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results: Of the participants enrolled in New Journeys, a plurality (48%) were white and 43% were Hispanic. At intake, 45% of participants reported being enrolled in school and 4% were working. Eighteen percent of participants reported using alcohol, 27% reported using cannabis, and 34% smoked cigarettes. Almost half of participants reported moderate or higher levels of depression (43%) and anxiety (41%). Participants reported significantly lower levels of anxiety (β=4.02; p<0.01), depression (β=3.64; p<0.01), and psychotic symptoms (β=5.19; p<0.01) during the first six months of enrollment in New Journeys. Participants also reported significant improvements in quality of life (β=4.13; p<0.05) and were more likely to be employed (Z=-3.32; p<0.01). There were no significant changes in substance use during the first six months of treatment. Conclusion: Program participants experienced improvements in psychiatric symptoms, quality of life, and vocational functioning, indicating that New Journeys has a positive impact on the lives of youth experiencing first-episode psychosis. Alcohol, drug, and tobacco use are potential targets for future program improvement.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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