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

  • Anna Lavis (a1), Helen Lester (a2), Linda Everard (a3), Nicholas Freemantle (a4), Tim Amos (a5), David Fowler (a6), Jo Hodgekins (a7), Peter Jones (a8), Max Marshall (a9), Vimal Sharma (a10), John Larsen (a11), Paul McCrone (a12), Swaran Singh (a13), Jo Smith (a14) and Max Birchwood (a15)...
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?

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Anna Lavis, School of Health and Population Sciences, University of Birmingham, Primary Care Clinical Sciences Building, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK. Email: a.c.lavis@bham.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Deceased.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Layers of listening: Qualitative analysis of the impact of early intervention services for first-episode psychosis on carers' experiences

  • Anna Lavis (a1), Helen Lester (a2), Linda Everard (a3), Nicholas Freemantle (a4), Tim Amos (a5), David Fowler (a6), Jo Hodgekins (a7), Peter Jones (a8), Max Marshall (a9), Vimal Sharma (a10), John Larsen (a11), Paul McCrone (a12), Swaran Singh (a13), Jo Smith (a14) and Max Birchwood (a15)...
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