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Psychosis risk research versus daily prognosis uncertainties: A qualitative study of French youth psychiatrists’ attitudes toward predictive practices

Abstract : Background : Over the last twenty years, predicting psychosis has become a priority of both research and policies. Those approaches include the use of the At Risk Mental State category (ARMS) and of standardized predictive tools. In comparison to most developed countries, early interventions programs are only little developed in France. However, cases of young patients presenting unclear symptoms that might be a beginning psychosis or might as well reflect some adolescent unease are commonplace in psychiatry. Yet little is known about the routine practices of youth psychiatrists regarding psychosis risk management. Do they anticipate mental disorders? Method The Grounded Theory is an agreed-upon qualitative method in social science field that links subjective experiences (individual narratives) to social processes (professional norms and mental health policies). 12 French youth psychiatrists were interviewed about psychosis early management and their daily prognosis practices with teenagers. Results If all participants were aware of early intervention programs, most of them did not make use of standardized scales. Psychiatrists’ reluctance toward a psychosis risk standardized assessment was shaped by three difficulties: first the gap between theoretical knowledge and practice; second their impossibility to make reliable prognoses; and third, the many uncertainties surrounding medical judgment, adolescence and the nature of psychosis. Nevertheless, they provided their young patients with multiple months follow up without disclosing any risk category. Conclusion Anticipating a psychosis onset remains a highly uncertain task for psychiatrists. In France, psychiatrists’ inconspicuous risk management might be supported by the universal costs coverage that is not conditional on a diagnosis disclosure.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 2:46:20 PM
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Leila Benoit, Marie Rose Moro, Bruno Falissard, Nicolas Henckes. Psychosis risk research versus daily prognosis uncertainties: A qualitative study of French youth psychiatrists’ attitudes toward predictive practices. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2017, 12 (7), pp.e0179849. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0179849⟩. ⟨hal-03480076⟩

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