Objectives. Previous research regarding Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services has mainly adopted quantitative methodologies, in order to study the effectiveness of EIP services. Research studies that have explored service-users’ experiences of EIP services are small in number. This research aimed to explore service-users’ experiences of being in contact with an EIP service, its impact of their experience of psychosis and current life situation.
Design. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to conduct an in-depth qualitative study of a small sample of EIP service-users, in order to explore their experiences of being in contact with the service.
Method. Flexibly guided interviews were conducted with eight service-users who had been receiving a service from an EIP team for more than 2 years and were recruited using a purposive sampling method. Verbatim interview transcripts were analysed using IPA.
Results. Five super-ordinate themes, developed from the analysis, are discussed in sections: Stigma, Relationships, Understanding the experiences, Sense of agency, and Impact on sense of self. Sub-themes of these super-ordinate themes are also discussed.
Conclusions. The themes developed from the analysis were envisioned as representing an overarching theme of ‘A personal journey of recovery’, which was influenced by participants’ involvement with the EIP service. Clinical implications include the need for EIP services, as with other mental health services, to find ways to promote recovery and create opportunities for agency and control. Future research directions are also discussed.