An exploration of treatment for young people with at risk mental state: experience and feasibility

Burton, Emma (2018) An exploration of treatment for young people with at risk mental state: experience and feasibility. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Background: It is possible to identify young people who are at an increased risk of developing psychosis, often referred to as having an At Risk Mental State (ARMS). Research shows that psychological interventions offered to these individuals, can reduce the risk that they will go on to develop psychosis, whilst also reducing their distress. However, the availability of such interventions within the NHS is limited, and those services that do support these individuals are characterised by high levels of disengagement.

Aims: The current portfolio aimed to explore how young people with ARMS experience mental health services, to identify ways of increasing the acceptability of these services to them. It also aimed to develop and trial a brief, benign psychological intervention that could be offered to young people with ARMS by non-registered practitioners, which could ultimately be used to increase the availability of psychological interventions for this population.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted. A thematic synthesis analysed existing qualitative articles to consider young peoples’ experience of ARMS, the services offered to them and of being labelled in this way. A feasibility study was also conducted, to assess the viability of offering the intervention, developed for the current portfolio, within the NHS and in a future Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT).

Results: The current findings suggest that young people with ARMS experience high-levels of self-stigma, which delay their help seeking. They highlight the importance of services offering young people the space to talk about and understand their psychotic-like experiences, within a safe and normalising therapeutic relationship. The intervention developed was acceptable to young people and mental health practitioners, with feasible rates of attrition. Recruitment rates were poorer than intended, recommendations for addressing this in future research are made.

Conclusion: Implications for services are highlighted, as are ways of improving the intervention developed. A future RCT evaluating the intervention is recommended.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Gillian Aldus
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2018 14:19
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2018 15:01
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/68936
DOI:

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