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Key Findings In Early Psychosis Knowledge Sharing Initiative

Over the past twenty-five years rapid advances have been made in understanding the treating psychotic disorders, including Schizophrenia. The research findings have demonstrated that detecting psychosis as early as possible and providing care that is specific to the stage of the disorder, results in better outcomes. The success of the early intervention approach depends not only on up-to-date clinical services, but also engagement of families, the community and people with lived experience of psychosis.

With that in mind, the Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Network has developed a knowledge sharing initiative to provide everyone involved in early detection and optimal stage specific treatment with relevant information in a form they can readily access and use.

The KEY FINDINGS IN EARLY PSYCHOSIS KNOWLEDGE SHARING INITIATIVE is organized around four key findings in the field of Early Psychosis. They are:

  • Psychosis develops in stages, including an At Risk phase.
  • Early and Optimal Stage Specific Care results in better outcomes.
  • Family education and engagement are essential component s of optimal care.
  • Psychosis is not progressive degenerative brain disorder.

A two page summary of these four key findings can be downloaded HERE.

In the series of videos (below), each of these key findings is addressed. The videos were recorded at a multi-stakeholder meeting held in Halifax, Nova Scotia on November 6, 2015. The meeting was attended by fifty participants including health care administrators, clinicians, people with lived experience of psychosis, family members and people from a variety of community agencies. At the meeting, brief presentations were made on each of the four key findings one by one, each followed by small group multi-stakeholder discussion groups in which participants shared the relevance of the findings in light of experience and role.

For each of the video presentations, the associated powerpoint slides can be downloaded. We invite you to watch the video and then consider how the information relates to your own experiences and role.

The KEY FINDINGS IN EARLY PSYCHOSIS INITIATIVE has been generously funded through a Knowledge Sharing Award from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

INTRODUCTION TO THE INITIATIVE

Dr. David Whitehorn, facilitator of the Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Network, provides a brief overview of the Key Findings in Early Psychosis Knowledge Sharing Initiative. Download the slides here.

STAGES IN EARLY PSYCHOSIS

Dr. Sabina Abidi, Director of the IWK Youth Psychosis Team, discusses the stages in the development of psychosis, including recent evidence on identifying young people who are at high risk of developing psychosis. Download the slides here.

EARLY IDENTIFICATION AND OPTIMAL STAGE SPECIFIC TREATMENT RESULTS IN BETTER OUTCOMES.

Dr. Phil Tibbo, the Dr. Paul Janssen Chair in Psychotic Disorders at Dalhousie University and Director of the Nova Scotia Early Psychosis Progam, discusses the evidence indicating that early detection and optimal stage specific treatment results in better outcomes as compared with treatment as usual. Download the slides here.

FAMILY EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT IS AN ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF OPTIMAL CARE.

Ms. Donna Methot, President of the Schizophenia Society of Nova Scotia, describes the evidence that family education and engagement are essential to optimal stage specific treatment, and the progress that has been made with an innovative program, FAMILY MATTERS, that is being undertaken in Nova Scotia. Download the slides here.

PSYCHOSIS IS NOT A PROGRESSIVE DEGENERATIVE BRAIN DISORDER

Dr. David Whitehorn introduces evidence that psychosis, while being a brain disorder, is not progressive in nature. Download the slides here.

Ms. Laura Burke, a clinician, advocate and person with lived experience of psychosis, further discusses the key finding that psychosis is not a progressive disorder with Dr. Whitehorn.