Recent research on the treatment of first-episode psychosis has documented positive results and hope for better long-term outcomes for consumers and their families. In particular, the NIMH-funded RISE study (Recovery after an Initial Schizophrenia Episode) developed an innovative early intervention. Building on the RAISE project, the Center for Social Innovation, LLC (C4) has partnered with the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. (RFMH) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University to develop and evaluate On Track>An Online Role-Playing Game (On Track>The Game). The goal of the game is to give consumers, family members, and provider's knowledge and skills to improve access to care. After playing the game, young people will be more likely to engage in and follow through with treatment;participate more actively as collaborators in their own care;and become more hopeful about their futures. Designed in the style of an animated, interactive comic book, On Track>The Game includes four main components: 1) role playing scenarios, 2) mini-games to promote self-advocacy skills, 3) practical tips, and 4) stories of hope (video testimonials from consumers about their recovery journeys). Additionally, the game will include an online Family Resource Center that provides concrete information and links to resources for consumers, family members, and other support people. During Phase 1 of this project, we will conduct a small-scale pilot study. Using a convergent parallel mixed methods design, we will use qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate the product/intervention in order to provide proof of concept for a larger Phase 2 effectiveness study. Quantitative and qualitative data will be gathered and analyzed concurrently, then synthesized into findings that will inform Phase 2. We will recruit a sample of consumers (n=20), family members (n=10), and providers (n=10) from two New York RAISE sites providing care for people who have experienced first-episode psychosis. Quantitative data will be collected through baseline and follow up surveys that utilize instruments with good psychometric properties to measure knowledge and attitudes about recovery, perceptions of stigma, feelings of empowerment, sense of hopefulness, and engagement in treatment. Qualitative data will be collected through 3 focus groups with a subset of participants (6 consumers, 6 parents, and 6 providers);open-ended questions will explore experiences with the game and suggestions for Phase 2 development.
Building on recent research on early intervention for people who have experienced first episode psychosis, the Center for Social Innovation and the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. (RFMH) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University will develop and evaluate On Track>An Online Role-Playing Game (On Track>The Game). Through engaging, interactive role-playing scenarios and other activities, this game will help young people who have experienced first-episode psychosis, their family members, and providers by increasing young people's willingness to engage and participate in treatment.