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Experiences of friendships of young people with first-episode psychosis: A qualitative study

Huckle, C; Lemmel, F; Johnson, S; (2021) Experiences of friendships of young people with first-episode psychosis: A qualitative study. PLoS One , 16 (7) , Article e0255469. 10.1371/journal.pone.0255469. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: First episode psychosis and reduced social networks have been found to go hand in hand, but specific mechanisms are unclear. The manifestation of symptoms and the effect of stigma are two possibilities discussed in the literature but the experiences and views of young people with psychosis have been neglected. AIMS: To explore experiences of friendships of young people with first-episode psychosis, focusing especially on any perceived changes in their friendships or approach to peer relationships as a result of the illness. METHODS: Fourteen participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide, which explored participants' views and experiences of their friendships during the acute phase of illness and in the path to recovery, the impact of friendships on illness experience and of illness on patterns of social contact, and the potential role of services in supporting people with their friendships. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. RESULTS: Identified themes included the loss of social contacts because both young people developing psychosis withdrew and because friends withdrew as illness developed. Regarding recovery, a unique role was identified for friends and participants were often making conscious efforts to rebuild social networks. Mental health services were viewed as having a limited direct role in this. CONCLUSIONS: Supporting the development of opportunities and skills needed for social relationships following an episode of psychosis may be a useful focus.

Type: Article
Title: Experiences of friendships of young people with first-episode psychosis: A qualitative study
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0255469
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0255469
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2021 Huckle et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132358
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