Moving on from early intervention for psychosis services: Service user perspectives on the facilitators and barriers of transition

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Early intervention for psychosis services (EIS) has been established worldwide and is offered to individuals experiencing a first episode of psychosis. Engagement with EIS typically lasts for 3 years, after which point, service users are either transferred to primary care or community mental health teams, according to perceived needs. Although UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend transfer of care should be arranged in conjunction with the receiving service, there exists little, if any, practical guidance as to how this should actually be managed. This study aims to investigate the barriers and facilitators of transition from EIS to both primary and secondary care services in the United Kingdom from the perspectives of service users.

Fifteen EIS service users who had either been discharged to primary or secondary services were interviewed about their experience of discharge. Data were analysed using interpretive thematic analysis, adopting a critical realist stance.

Four themes were identified: feeling ready for discharge; relationships and trust; planning for discharge; life after EIS.

This is the first in-depth exploration of a sample of largely male service users' views on transition from EIS to primary and/or secondary care services. We highlight several practical steps that EIS and receiving services can take to facilitate a more optimal discharge and transition experience for EIS service users. Taking into account service pressures, the discharge process should be one that is gradual, allowing time for the service user to both process the news and gradually sever ties with keyworkers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1396-1403
Number of pages8
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number6
Early online date22 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2019


  • barriers
  • early intervention
  • facilitators
  • psychosis
  • qualitative


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