The period of untreated psychosis before treatment initiation: a qualitative study of family members' perspectives.

Abstract:

AIM:This study used a qualitative research methodology to explore common themes pertaining to the period of untreated psychosis before treatment initiation in hospitalized, urban, African American, first-episode psychosis patients. METHODS:Twelve family members of 10 patients were interviewed at length to gather detailed narrative accounts of factors related to untreated psychosis and treatment delay. Using qualitative analysis, verbatim transcripts were reviewed by 2 researchers to identify prominent themes useful for generating future research hypotheses. RESULTS:Four themes emerged as informative of the period of untreated psychosis before treatment initiation: (1) misattribution of symptoms or problem behaviors (eg, depression, drug use, and adolescent rebellion), (2) positive symptoms causing unusual or dangerous behaviors that served as a catalyst for initiating treatment, (3) views about personal autonomy of an adult or nearly adult patient, and (4) system-level factors (eg, unaffordability of health care and inefficiency on the part of health care providers). CONCLUSIONS:Family members encountered numerous barriers when seeking treatment, including their own misattributions, the nature of the patient's symptoms, financial issues, and system-level delays. The themes uncovered in this formative analysis merit further exploration with additional qualitative and quantitative research.

journal_name

Compr Psychiatry

journal_title

Comprehensive psychiatry

authors

Bergner E,Leiner AS,Carter T,Franz L,Thompson NJ,Compton MT

doi

10.1016/j.comppsych.2008.02.010

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2008-11-01 00:00:00

pages

530-6

issue

6

eissn

0010-440X

issn

1532-8384

pii

S0010-440X(08)00040-0

journal_volume

49

pub_type

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