Deakin University

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Stakeholder views on mindfulness for youth at risk for psychosis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-09, 22:42 authored by D Reich, Subhadra EvansSubhadra Evans, Melissa O'SheaMelissa O'Shea
Interventions incorporating mindfulness for youth identified to be at risk for psychosis show promise for symptom management yet to be addressed by other approaches. Important questions remain as to how to safely and effectively implement these interventions with this cohort. The aim of this research was to collaboratively identify with stakeholders of such interventions, namely youth at risk for psychosis, and practitioners with experience working with youth at risk for psychosis – attitudes towards mindfulness and potential intervention adaptations to ensure the safety, uptake, and effectiveness of mindfulness interventions used with youth at risk for psychosis. Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative studies were adopted. Eight practitioners and six at risk for psychosis individuals were interviewed. Both groups identified significant potential benefits of mindfulness, for stress and relaxation, managing difficult thoughts and emotions, increasing positive emotions, improving functioning, and patient empowerment within treatment participation. Stakeholders identified the helpfulness of including compassion-based practices, emphasizing experiential and concrete material, shorter and guided exercises, the targeting of anxiety and attenuated psychotic symptomology, and making the goals or intent of practice youth relevant. Significant barriers were identified – poor functioning and low motivation, high self-criticism, concurrent medication and substance use, and perceptions of mindfulness that may impact uptake (e.g. it requires relaxation to work). Formulation of and research into comprehensive clinical guidelines will help ensure the safe and effective use of future mindfulness and compassion-based practices with at risk for psychosis individuals.



International Journal of Mental Health Nursing