Research has found that a long duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is associated with poor outcomes. However, few studies have examined contextual influences, such as families, that can be important targets of intervention to improve treatment initiation among individuals with first-episode psychosis (FEP). Studies consistently have found that family involvement is a robust predictor of treatment engagement; however, these primarily descriptive studies do not provide a comprehensive understanding of the strategies used by families to support their loved one’s engagement. Family involvement may be especially salient for Latinos with FEP, given that Latinos with serious mental illness are more likely than other groups to live with family. Learning about the role of families in the process of treatment initiation may inform the mechanisms by which treatment is provided and improve timely care for Latinos and other underserved groups with FEP.
This study will use secondary data to explore the mechanisms used by Latino families to facilitate treatment during the early phase of the illness to inform early intervention efforts. Data come from a multilevel mixed-methods study focused on reducing DUP among Latinos. Findings from the proposed project will provide preliminary data and inform a study examining treatment engagement among Latinos with first-episode psychosis and their family members in the Austin area. Ultimately the goal is to develop an intervention that encompasses family strategies and strengths targeting engagement and treatment preferences among diverse underserved groups experiencing FEP.