What does recovery from psychosis mean? Perceptions of young first-episode patients.

Department of Psychiatry, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
International Journal of Social Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.15). 11/2011; 57(6):580-7. DOI: 10.1177/0020764010374418
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study explored the experience of first-episode psychosis from the patients' perspective and the meanings they attach to the illness and their recovery.
A qualitative methodology was used based on a focus group. Audio tapes were transcribed verbatim and three researchers participated in a content analysis that identified four major themes: the meaning of psychosis and psychotic experience; the meaning of recovery; stigma; and having an optimistic view of recovery.
Participants' view of recovery was broader than that often held by psychiatrists, extending beyond symptom control and medication compliance, and they identified positive features that the experience of illness had brought. Their concerns included the side effects of medication and the fear of their illness being disclosed (to employers, university authorities, acquaintances, etc.) in the face of societal stigma.
Ideas about what constitutes recovery need to take account of patients' views and experience in order to emphasize therapeutic optimism rather than pessimism, and to inform treatment contexts and the views of medical staff.

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