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Recovery and adaptation after first-episode psychosis: The relevance of posttraumatic growth

Jane E. Dunkley & Glen W. Bates.
Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches; Published online: 05 Aug 2014.

Abstract
This research expanded the concept of recovery following first-episode psychosis (FEP) to include the possibility of posttraumatic growth (PTG), particularly in improved relationships and views of others. Accounts of recovery and adaptation from FEP in the context of a trauma model were examined. FEP is defined as the first treated episode in an individual’s lifetime. A longitudinal qualitative study was conducted utilising a thematic analysis derived from interpretative phenomenological analysis of interview data. Ten people were interviewed three to six months following their psychotic episode and again three months after their initial interview. Analysis of interview data revealed that people actively manage their experience of FEP and utilise adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies. Both restorative and constructive processes and outcomes were relevant, with growth integral to recovery. The identification of PTG after FEP has important clinical implications.

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