Layers of listening: qualitative analysis of the impact of early intervention services for first-episode psychosis on carers' experiences

Lavis, Anna, Lester, Helen, Everard, Linda, Freemantle, Nicholas, Amos, Tim, Fowler, David, Hodgekins, Jo, Jones, Peter, Marshall, Max, Sharma, Vimal, Larsen, John, McCrone, Paul, Singh, Swaran, Smith, Jo and Birchwood, Max (2015) Layers of listening: qualitative analysis of the impact of early intervention services for first-episode psychosis on carers' experiences. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 207 (2). pp. 135-142. ISSN 0007-1250

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Abstract

Background

Early intervention services (EIS) comprise low-stigma, youth-friendly mental health teams for young people undergoing first-episode psychosis (FEP). Engaging with the family of the young person is central to EIS policy and practice.

Aims

By analysing carers' accounts of their daily lives and affective challenges during a relative's FEP against the background of wider research into EIS, this paper explores relationships between carers' experiences and EIS.

Method

Semi-structured longitudinal interviews with 80 carers of young people with FEP treated through English EIS.

Results

Our data suggest that EIS successfully aid carers to support their relatives, particularly through the provision of knowledge about psychosis and medications. However, paradoxical ramifications of these user-focused engagements also emerge; they risk leaving carers' emotions unacknowledged and compounding an existing lack of help-seeking.

Conclusions

By focusing on EIS's engagements with carers, this paper draws attention to an urgent broader question: as a continuing emphasis on care outside the clinic space places family members at the heart of the care of those with severe mental illness, we ask: who can, and should, support carers, and in what ways?

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Alexandra Barnard
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2016 08:09
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 05:06
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/62094

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