Project 2 Preventing psychosis in young people: a second- level school-based study

Research Theme Preventing psychosis among young people

A participatory action project to co-design and trial a school-based intervention focused on distress associated with attenuated psychotic symptoms in young people

Attenuated psychotic symptoms refer to perceptual abnormalities, unusual thought content, and disorganised speech that occur in the absence of a psychotic disorder. They are commonly reported by young people and are a known risk factor for psychopathology. This project focuses on developing and testing a CBT-oriented, school-based intervention targeting distress associated with attenuated psychotic symptoms in non help-seeking young people. It will begin with a systematic literature review on the distress associated with attenuated psychotic symptoms in general youth populations.

The PhD scholar for this project will work on co-creating an educational intervention to be delivered in secondary schools to groups in a classroom setting. The co-creation will involve professionals from the STEP Team (a psychosis prevention team in Antrim – several members of the research team work clinically within this service), service users from this team who are experiencing attenuated symptoms, and students and pastoral care teams from the schools involved.

The final part of this project will be the delivery of a feasibility study of the educational intervention to determine if such an approach is both feasible and acceptable.

This is an exciting project that combines participatory action and evaluation research. The project team has experience in co-creation and the development of school-based interventions.

Project team

Principal investigators
Dr. Ciaran Mulholland (QUB)
Professor Gavin Davidson (QUB)
Dr. Ciaran Shannon (HSCNI)

Primary institutional base
Queen’s University Belfast (QUB)