A Comparison of Clinician, Youth, and Parent Beliefs About Helpfulness of Interventions for Early Psychosis

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ObjectiveThis study explored whether there are gaps between the beliefs of clinicians and those of young people and their parents about the appropriate interventions for early psychosis.MethodsPostal surveys of 105 Australian general practitioners, 155 psychiatrists, 183 psychologists, and 106 mental health nurses asked about the likely helpfulness of a wide range of potential interventions, covering helping professions, medications, psychological interventions, complementary interventions, and self-help. The results from these clinicians were compared with data from a national telephone survey of 968 Australian youths (ages 12–25 years) and 531 of their parents.ResultsYoung people and their parents were less likely than the clinicians to endorse the helpfulness of seeing a psychiatrist, using mental health services, and taking antipsychotic medication. On the other hand, young people and their parents were more likely to endorse informal social supports, generic counseling, and general stress reduction methods.ConclusionsThe gap in intervention beliefs may be a contributor to delays in seeking professional help and adherence to treatment. Efforts are needed to improve public knowledge about psychosis treatment and to change mental health services so that they better meet consumer expectations.

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