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Title: Cannabis use in first-episode psychosis : motivation for use, change in use, and the impact of cannabis use of symptomatic outcome
Author: Seddon, Jennifer Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 3554
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2012
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The use of cannabis has been found to be prognostic of poorer symptomatic outcome among people with first-episode psychosis. It is therefore important to understand what motivates the use of cannabis in this population. Using a twelve month prospective design this research aimed to quantitatively assess the impact of cannabis use on the symptoms of psychosis, mania, depression and the level of functioning among people with first-episode psychosis. The research also aimed to identify if the motives for cannabis use, such as reasons and expectancy, a person's social network and self-perceived social status may be associated with cannabis use, cessation or abstention. Qualitative methods were also used to explore the factors that the participant perceived to relate to cannabis use and cannabis abstention among people experiencing their first-episode of psychosis. This research found the continued use of cannabis to be associated with increased severity of mania and to impede recovery in psycho-social functioning. The results suggest that similar reasons and expectancies motivate the use of cannabis in young people with and without psychosis. Concern regarding the potential adverse effect of cannabis use on mental health was found to be influential for cannabis cessation and abstention; and abstention from cannabis was also associated with greater negative cannabis expectancy. The sample sizes in this research may have meant that a small number of analyses were underpowered to detect significant differences for some variables. Nevertheless, the results of this research highlight the deleterious effect that continued use of cannabis may have for II people experiencing their first-episode of psychosis. Psycho-education regarding the potentially adverse effects of cannabis use may help to enhance current intervention efforts among this population; however intervention must emphasise "normal" motives for cannabis use rather than psychosis specific motives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry