Principles of Care Copy

dvances in clinical interventions for early psychosis clients has led to the recognition of the need for comprehensive approaches to treatment and program delivery. While the benefits to individuals, organizations and society as a whole are still the subject of considerable study, a growing body of literature suggests that early intervention improves the quality of recovery for all involved. The principles of care that appear to lead to better engagement and treatment outcomes include the following.

A strong working alliance facilitates successful ongoing treatment
Development of engagement may take precedence over treatment initiation in order to increase the probability of long-term success.

The client’s initial discomfort should be minimized
Minimization of distress and trauma is therapeutically beneficial over both short and longer terms.

Treatment should target a broad range of treatment goals
Treatment should be comprehensive, individually tailored and adhere to best practices. General goals for treatment include:

  • amelioration of psychotic symptoms
  • amelioration of non-psychotic symptoms
  • well-timed effective re-entry into the person’s normal roles and environments
  • prevention of secondary morbidity
  • minimization of relapse risk
  • retention of a positive self-concept
  • enhancement of self-efficacy
  • maximization of quality of life

Professional involvement should be ongoing and intensive 
The concept of a critical period wherein early course predicts later course, suggests that ongoing intensive involvement should occur for at least several years after the resolution of the initial episode.

Practices should be age-appropriate and stage-appropriate
Specific interventions are appropriate to different stages of a disorder. Interventions need to be targeted appropriately at the developmental stage of the individual.

The pace of reintegration should be carefully considered and be developmentally-appropriate
Reintegration efforts should be appropriately challenging but with a high guarantee of meeting with success. Self-esteem is often low following a psychotic episode, and so reintegration efforts need to be carefully considered so not to further damage an already fragile sense of confidence.

Family involvement should be early, intensive and sustained
Despite significant evidence that family involvement leads to lowered relapse rates, improved patient functioning, and enhanced family well being, delivery of mental health services to persons with psychosis often does not include the family. Families need support both for themselves and to assist the ill family member. They should be thoroughly integrated into the treatment team.

Care should be documented in a standardized manner to allow for evaluation of process and outcome
The documentation provided in the care pathway for both assessments and progress updates will ensure standardization of data collection. You will be introduced to the care pathway shortly. The use of standardized rating scales will enable clinicians to gauge treatment progress.

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