NorthBEAT: Narrative Interviews to Explore the Needs of Youth in Remote/Northern Canada

Presentation First Author: 
Chiachen Cheng

Objectives: While research in early psychosis intervention (EPI) has made significant contributions to care, it may not extrapolate well to northern or rural service environments. In Northern Ontario (a central-province in Canada with an expansive geography with many Aboriginal communities), services struggle to understand unique presentations and discrepancies. NorthB.E.A.T (Barriers to Early Assessment and Treatment) is a descriptive mixed-method project that addresses the question: what are the perceived service needs of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth in Northern Ontario who experience first episode psychosis? This presentation will illustrate the results from narrative interviews from youth, their family care-givers, and EPI service providers. Approach: To explore the care experiences, and perceived service needs of youth who experience first episode psychosis, qualitative interviews were conducted in both northern regions of Ontario. Participants were: youth ≤18 years old who have experienced psychosis, their family care-givers, and rural EPI service providers. Sampling was by snowball (service providers) and convenience (youth & caregivers) sampling techniques. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded for themes by two authors. Results: A lack of knowledge about psychosis-specific symptoms and services impeded rural youth from receiving appropriate EPI. While knowledge of psychosis can be a facilitator, a lack of resources in northern and remote regions can further impede appropriate EPI. Conclusions: This qualitative research evidence provides insight into the mental health service needs of rural youth who experience first episode psychosis. This new evidence can be used to guide rural EPI program development and improve care pathways for northern youth.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2015
Additional Authors: 
Shevaun Nadin - M Katt - C Lem - Terry Bedard - C Zufelt - Peter Braunberger - Carolyn Dewa - Bruce Minore
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