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Tuesday, October 9 • 1:55pm - 2:05pm
Oral 8, Talk 6. “It's brought me like a lot closer to who I am”: aspects and facilitators of positive change following a first episode of psychosis"

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Gerald Jordan1, Ashok Malla1, Srividya Iyer1; 1McGill University; Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses; ACCESS Open Minds/Esprits ouverts
A first episode of psychosis (FEP) is often a severe and highly negative experience. However, FEP may also present an opportunity for positive change. While positive changes have been reported following various physical illnesses (e.g., HIV) or traumatic events (e.g., war), very little research has investigated positive changes following FEP. To address this knowledge gap, this presentation will address two research questions: 1) What are the positive changes persons experience following FEP, and 2) What factors or processes may facilitate such changes? A qualitative descriptive design guided the project. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews conducted with twelve purposefully sampled service users receiving treatment for FEP at an early intervention service. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis using inductive and deductive approaches. Participants described how they experienced declines and difficulties following FEP. Yet, participants also developed improved mental health; a stronger sense of self and improved personality; greater levels of, and a better approach to, spirituality; improved relationships with others; as well as improved lifestyles and new goals for the future. Participants described how their positive changes were facilitated through care received by mental health services; drawing on resources to help them cope with the FEP; experiencing healing and recovery; and finding meaning in their experiences. These findings can inform early intervention services seeking to better provide positive, hopeful, strengths-based services to persons experiencing FEP. The findings also validate the experiences of persons who have experienced positive change as a result of their experience of FEP.


Tuesday October 9, 2018 1:55pm - 2:05pm EDT
St. George CD Westin Copley Place, third floor