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Title: An exploration of the family environment in the at-risk mental state (ARMS)
Author: Izon, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 9354 2641
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2020
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Individuals who are at high-risk of developing psychosis can experience distressing thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This can include hearing or seeing things that others cannot, having unusual beliefs or distrustful thoughts. These experiences can vary in terms of intensity, frequency and duration but are often reported as distressing. They are typically reported during late adolescence or early adulthood, when individuals may still be living at home with their family. They may impact on an individual's relationships with their family and how family members communicate with them. Research typically focuses on the outcomes for individuals, whilst the experiences of family members or other caregivers (family/carer) are often unknown. The research included: 1. What we know so far about the attitudes, behaviours and communication in the family environment. 2. Critical comments and controlling behaviours of family members (questionnaires completed by individuals and family/carers). 3. Individuals' and family/carers' depression and anxiety (self-report questionnaires), and individuals' symptoms (structured assessment). 4. Family/carers' experiences (interviews). Critical comments and controlling behaviours were found in this population. The more critical comments and controlling behaviours that individuals reported, the more likely that they would experience long-term depression and intensified unusual beliefs and experiences (psychotic symptoms). Family/carers may experience increased worry, emotional isolation and lack confidence in their caregiving role. The author discusses the mixed-methods approach as a strength of the research. A limitation is that the majority of participants were White British mothers, and therefore the results may be different in other cultures or socio-ethnic backgrounds. In summary, involving family/carers in sessions that focus on communication and relationships, as well as developing educational resources could have long-term benefits for service users, family members and services.
Supervisor: Berry, Katherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: ARMS ; Randomised Control Trial ; Early Intervention ; Relationships ; Mixed Methods ; Family ; Expressed Emotion ; Psychosis ; High Risk ; Carer