Psychosis 101: Evaluating a training programme for northern and remote youth mental health service providers

Chiachen Cheng, Wayne K. deRuiter, Andrew Howlett, Mark D. Hanson, Carolyn S Dewa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Most of the early psychosis intervention (EPI) training has focused on family physicians participants. In Northern Ontario, there is a shortage of primary care. This paper will present evaluation results of a pilot training programme for rural and remote youth mental health service providers. Method: A mixed methods approach was used. We evaluated a 2-day workshop about EPI for non-medical mental health workers delivered onsite and simultaneously by videoconferencing. There were 19 participants across four agencies. Seven were onsite and 12 were offsite. Participants' knowledge was measured using a validated questionnaire at pre-intervention and at 3-, 6- and 9-month follow up. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to evaluate knowledge acquisition between the two modes of training. At 6 months, focus group interviews were conducted to explore their experiences of the mode of intervention delivery and evaluation. Emerging themes were iteratively derived through a series of discussions involving independent coders. Results: Only 15 complete datasets were available of the 19 original participants. Differences in knowledge acquisition between the two groups did not reach statistical difference. Six-month focus group data indicated that participants improved their relationship with EPI services and they were part of a strengthened network with other providers in the region. Post-intervention, the accuracy of referrals from participating agencies increased dramatically, with an increase in proportion of referrals who were eligible for EPI services. The follow-up process engaged participants in learning and re-engaged them with the material taught during the training session. Conclusions: The results about developing service partnerships and relationship with specialist services are encouraging for policy and service decision-makers to address mental health service needs in northern and remote areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-450
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Continuing education
  • Early psychosis intervention
  • Remote learning
  • Rural health service
  • Telepsychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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