The development and implementation of an educational intervention on first episode psychosis for primary care

Helen Lester, Lynda Tait, Amrit Khera, Max Birchwood, Nick Freemantle, Paul Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: This paper describes the development and implementation of an educational intervention to help general practitioners (GPs) recognise young people with first episode psychosis. METHOD: The Medical Research Council complex interventions framework was used to guide the development of the intervention. The theoretical phase included a literature review of previous educational interventions in primary care and consideration of the literature on attitude formation and change, and the relationship between attitudes and behaviour. The modelling phase included focus groups with GPs and service users, and a training needs analysis questionnaire administered to GPs. The 2-stage intervention consisted of a video featuring role-plays of primary care consultations, GP-led discussion and discussion with early intervention service users. The acceptability and utility of the educational programme was evaluated using a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire administered at the end of each session. RESULTS: General practitioners from each of the 39 intervention practices participated in the initial session and from 27 practices in the booster session. Information about symptoms and signs of first episode psychosis was the most valued aspect of the initial session. The booster session was also well received, with GPs valuing the opportunity to gain insight into first episode psychosis from users. CONCLUSIONS: This paper adds a pragmatic description to the literature on the development of educational interventions in primary care. The Medical Research Council framework helped to identify and clarify component parts of the intervention and how the active components may relate to the expected outcome of behaviour change. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1014
Number of pages8
JournalMedical education
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • Attitude to health
  • Clinical competence/ *standards
  • Family practice/*education/standards
  • Great Britain
  • Psychotic disorders/*diagnosis
  • Public opinion


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