Dr Jacob Ballon: Coordinated Teams, Collaboration Are Key to Supporting People With Psychosis

A coordinated specialty care model can most effectively address early psychosis, but it’s also important to involve the patient and their family members when making treatment decisions, according to Jacob Ballon, MD, MPH, clinical associate professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Stanford University.


What is the ideal coordinated team model to support those with early psychosis or at high risk for psychosis?

Well, the evidence would show that a coordinated specialty care model is the best model for treatment of early psychosis. That again comes from the RAISE-ETP study which has shown that there’s a distinct benefit to having an interdisciplinary team provide care for patients. This includes having psychiatrists, case workers, psychologists, family therapists, supportive education and employment specialists, and peer specialists all part of the team.

Why is shared decision making and collaboration important when supporting people experiencing psychosis?

Shared decision making is important because we want to make sure that we’re in partnership with our patients. This is a chronic illness and people are gonna need to be involved in their care throughout their life. Simply telling people what to do is not a way to keep people involved, and so we need to be understanding of all the different stakeholders at play. So that means getting the patient perspective, it means getting the parent’s perspective or other family members, understanding the full context of their life.

Everybody in the room is an expert in the treatment, not just the psychiatrist, and to simply tell people what they have to do is not a way that they’re going to want to partner for the long term.
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