A Feasibility and Pilot Trial of the Brief Educational Guide for Individuals in Need (BEGIN): Psychoeducation for Individuals at Risk for Psychosis

Shaynna N. Herrera, Cansu Sarac, Shreya A. Vaidya, Sophia Shuster, Romi Lyallpuri, Matthew F. Dobbs, Jane Gorman, Antigone Phili, Alessia Mcgowan, Storm Portner, Maxwell Mikelic, Rachel Jespersen, Joseph S. Deluca, Kayla Y. Lim, Lawrence H. Yang, Katarzyna Wyka, Yulia Landa, Cheryl M. Corcoran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR) report a strong desire for psychoeducation, and clinical guidelines recommend psychoeducation in early psychosis care. Although several CHR psychoeducation models have been developed, additional research is needed to establish the effectiveness of these models. The goal of this study was to conduct a pilot trial of the Brief Educational Guide for Individuals in Need (BEGIN). BEGIN is a brief structured psychoeducation intervention designed to educate CHR individuals on symptoms and treatment options. We conducted a feasibility and pilot study of 25 CHR individuals (60% female, Mage = 20.6, 64% non-White, 52% Hispanic/Latino) identified via the Structured Interview for Psychosis Risk Syndromes. Qualitative interviews were administered to learn about their experience and analyzed using iterative thematic analysis. Participants (n = 12) completed pre- and post-BEGIN self-report measures to assess factors that influence treatment engagement, including CHR knowledge and motivation for therapy. Data were analyzed using Hedges’ g effect sizes and paired samples t tests. The intervention completion rate (83%) and therapeutic alliance were high. Qualitative themes and quantitative measures converged on similar results showing how CHR individuals were impacted by receiving psychoeducation via BEGIN, including increased CHR knowledge (g = 1.37), competence to monitor symptoms (g = 0.53), hope (g = 0.87), and motivation for therapy (g = 0.46). This study demonstrated the feasibility, acceptability, and potential benefits of the BEGIN CHR psychoeducation model, including enhancing motivation for treatment. The flexible but standardized format can facilitate BEGIN’s implementation and dissemination.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Services
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • early intervention
  • mental health literacy
  • pilot study
  • psychoeducation
  • psychosis risk

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