Evaluation of a professional development training programme for mental health clinicians specializing in early psychosis

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The Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre Statewide Services (ESW) team provides training for multidisciplinary clinicians that specialise in early psychosis across the State of Victoria, Australia. The aim of this paper is to describe the 4-phase approach utilised by ESW to prepare for and deliver workshops, to report on participants’ ratings of the ESW workshops, and to make recommendations for other trainers of early psychosis clinicians. Between March 2009 and September 2014, ESW provided 85 training workshops that had a strong focus on evidence-based approaches and international guidelines, and utilized clinical examples of early psychosis interventions. At the conclusion of each workshop, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire that comprised qualitative and quantitative elements. These assessed perceived trainer knowledge, learning, interactivity and specific topic feedback. The focus of this paper will be on describing the quantitative data resulting from these questionnaires. A total of 1708 clinicians provided feedback on the 85 workshops. There was a high level of compliance, with 83.0% of workshop participants completing the questionnaires. Feedback was positive across all areas, with the 2 areas that were most highly endorsed being that presenters “appeared to know their subject matter well” (endorsed by 98.4% of participants) and that “topics were explained well” (endorsed by 96.8% of participants). Training for early psychosis clinicians that focusses on core clinical topics, is well planned, incorporates feedback from previous training, and is based on adult learning principles, is likely to be effective and well received by early psychosis clinicians.

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