University of Washington Department of Psychiatry And Behavioral Sciences

International Congress on Schizophrenia Research - New Journeys

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Michael McDonell, Dunni Oluwoye and Sarah Kopelovich presented the New Journeys poster at the 16th Biennial International Congress on Schizophrenia Research. 

Washington State New Journeys Program for Young Adults Experiencing First Episode Psychosis: Pilot Results

Emily Leickly1, Michael McDonell1, Maria Monroe-DeVita2, Roselyn Peterson2, Oladunni Oluwoye1, MacKenzie Hughes2, Shannon Blajeski2, Jeffery Roskelley2, Sarah Kopelovich2 Christopher Moore3, Todd Blair3

1Washington State University – Spokane, Spokane, WA.

2University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

3Comprehensive Health Care, Yakima, WA.

Background: Many states are implementing multidisciplinary models to treat young people experiencing first episode psychosis (FEP). Washington State’s New Journeys early intervention for psychosis program includes components from Oregon’s Early Assessment & Support Alliance, as well as the NAVIGATE model of care. We present descriptive results from Year 1 of New Journeys implementation at the first pilot site, a community mental health center in rural Washington state.

Methods: Inclusion criteria included: 1) 15-25 years old; 2) diagnosis of a psychotic disorder or mood disorder with psychotic features (in Year 2, diagnostic criteria will be limited to non-affective psychosis); and 3) duration of psychotic symptoms less than 2 years. The New Journeys model included family psychoeducation, Individual Resiliency Training, Individual Placement and Support/Supported Employment and Education, medication management, and case management. Clients participated in monthly and weekly assessments using an online database (EBP toolkit). The evaluation team provided training and ongoing supervision for New Journeys clinicians using the Toolkit. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze characteristics of the sample at baseline and psychiatric and service utilization variables over the first five months of the program.

Results: During the first year, 25 participants were enrolled in New Journeys. Presently, 52% of participants are still in the program. Seventy-two percent of referrals were from mental health providers and participants had a mean duration of untreated psychosis of about one year. Participants were 84% male, 64% Hispanic or Latino, and had an average age of 19. At the start of the program, 52% of participants reported being enrolled in school, and 24% were working. Twenty-nine percent of participants reported using alcohol and 24% reported using marijuana in the 30 days prior to intake, and 48% smoked cigarettes. At intake, 39% of participants scored at least moderate levels of depression and 81% reporting at least moderate levels of anxiety. After five months in the program, reductions in anxiety and depression were observed. Psychotic symptoms varied throughout the first five month with no overall reduction at five months. Attendance to all services offered was over 75%.

Conclusion: Reductions in anxiety and depression during the New Journeys program are encouraging. However, due to attrition in the sample, more data is needed to evaluate changes in psychotic symptoms. Alcohol, drug, and tobacco use are potential areas to target as around a quarter of the sample used alcohol and/or marijuana, and nearly half smoked cigarettes. Attendance to scheduled services was high, but strategies must be implemented to retain participants after the first five months in the program.