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“You have to believe in something”: Risk of psychosis and psychiatrists’ beliefs in the self-fulfilling prophecy

Abstract : Background : Psychiatric care is a fruitful setting for exploring the rise of surveillance medicine, which shapes gray zones of uncertainty between health and illness. Predicting psychosis has become a priority in the international mental health field, but French psychiatrists appear reluctant to refer their young patients for standardized assessments or disclose their risks to them. Aim : This research addressed French psychiatrists’ attitudes towards risk disclosure about psychosis to adolescents presenting symptoms that might reflect either typical teenager unease or the first signs of psychosis onset. Methods A mixed-method design included 12 in-depth qualitative interviews followed by an online survey with responses from 487 psychiatrists. Results French psychiatrists' reluctance to engage in risk disclosure emerges from a professional norm: a belief in the self-fulfilling prophecy. They — especially those with a Background : in social science and psychology — believe in the optimistic self-fulfilling prophecy. They fear the consequences of pessimistic predictions, struggle to maintain functional optimism, favor long-term inconspicuous medical watchfulness, and systematically understand favorable outcomes as a consequence of medical care, independent of the accuracy of risk detection.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 3:17:09 PM
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Leila Benoit, T Russo, C Barry, B Falissard, Nicolas Henckes. “You have to believe in something”: Risk of psychosis and psychiatrists’ beliefs in the self-fulfilling prophecy. Social Science and Medicine, 2019, 230, pp.20-29. ⟨10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.03.035⟩. ⟨hal-03480102⟩



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