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Friends interventions in psychosis: a narrative review and call to action

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Early Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number4
Volume9
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)269-278
Publication statusPublished
Early online date13/08/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Abstract
Aims
To highlight the importance of friendships to young people with psychosis, and the need for clinical interventions to help maintain peer relationships during illness. To structure a research agenda for developing evidence-based interventions with friends.

Method
An argument is developed through a narrative review of (i) the proven efficacy of family interventions, and (by comparison) a relative absence of friend-based interventions; (ii) the particular primacy of friendships and dating for young people, and typical effects of exclusion; and (iii) reduced friendship networks and dating experiences in psychosis, in pre-, during and post-psychosis phases, also links between exclusion and psychosis.

Results
We put forward a model of how poor friendships can potentially be a causal and/or maintenance factor for psychotic symptoms. Given this model, our thesis is that interventions aiming to maintain social networks can be hugely beneficial clinically for young people with psychosis. We give a case study to show how such an intervention can work.

Conclusions
We call for ‘friends interventions’ for young people with psychosis to be developed, where professionals directly work with a young person's authentic social group to support key friendships and maintain social continuity. An agenda for future research is presented that will develop and test theoretically driven interventions.