Young people at risk of psychosis: Their subjective experiences of monitoring and cognitive behaviour therapy in the early detection and intervention evaluation 2 trial
Rory E. Byrne and Anthony P. Morrison
To explore participants’ experiences of ‘enhanced monitoring’ and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) within a randomized controlled trial evaluating early detection and prevention of psychosis (‘early detection and intervention evaluation [EDIE] 2’).
Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with a sample of participants at the end of their involvement with the trial.
Ten young people were interviewed; six males and four females, with a mean age of 27.5. Nine participants identified themselves as White British and one Black British. All participants had received ‘enhanced monitoring’ during the trial, and 8 of 10 also received CBT. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis to identify central themes within and among participants’ accounts.
Three super-ordinate thematic areas were identified: ‘a chance to talk’, monitoring-specific themes, and CBT-specific themes. The central theme (‘a chance to talk’) was drawn from across all participants’ accounts and represents the most consistently valued attribute of participants’ experiences of the EDIE 2 trial. Sub-themes of this topic were identified as follows: interpersonal engagement, informality and normalization, and ‘opening up’. Sub-themes related to monitoring include the following: clarity and reassurance, ‘a therapeutic process’, and challenges. CBT experience was most consistently conceptualized as ‘rethinking things’, and two additional CBT-specific sub-themes were identified: hard work and moving forward.
Our findings suggest that for young people at risk of psychosis, a normalizing psychosocially oriented assessment and monitoring process may have benefits for many, while CBT may help to reduce the negative impact of unusual psychological experiences for both the short- and long term.