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Family members’ experience of seeking help for first-episode psychosis on behalf of a loved one: a metasynthesis of qualitative research

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Early Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number3
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)185-199
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/06/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Family members often play a vital role in seeking help for loved ones experiencing first-episode psychosis. Understanding this experience is crucial in facilitating the help-seeking process. Qualitative research offers valuable insight into the lived experience of family members who seek help on behalf of a loved one experiencing first-episode psychosis.

The current research presents a systematic review of qualitative studies exploring the family member experience of seeking help for first-episode psychosis.

A meta-synthesis of 13 qualitative studies has revealed four themes relating to family members' experience of seeking help for first-episode psychosis. These include a sense of not knowing, the reaching of crisis point, the impact upon the family member and the mediating role of interactions with others. A further synthesis of translation captures the interaction of these themes within this experience.

The findings provide a novel insight into this experience, suggesting implications for clinical practice. These include a focus upon the facilitation of early positive interactions with family members and for first-episode psychosis to be presented to families in a normalizing manner. The need for future research that examines the experience of those who do not seek help from health services is discussed.