Cannabis use in first-episode psychosis: motivation for use, change in use, and the impact of cannabis use on symptomatic outcome

Seddon, Jennifer Louise (2012). Cannabis use in first-episode psychosis: motivation for use, change in use, and the impact of cannabis use on symptomatic outcome. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Abstract

The use of cannabis has been found to be prognostic of poorer symptomatic outcome among people with first-episode psychosis. It is therefore important to understand what motivates the use of cannabis in this population.

Using a twelve month prospective design this research aimed to quantitatively assess the impact of cannabis use on the symptoms of psychosis, mania, depression and the level of functioning among people with first-episode psychosis. The research also aimed to identify if the motives for cannabis use, such as reasons and expectancy, a person's social network and self-perceived social status may be associated with cannabis use, cessation or abstention. Qualitative methods were also used to explore the factors that the participant perceived to relate to cannabis use and cannabis abstention among people experiencing their first-episode of psychosis.

This research found the continued use of cannabis to be associated with increased severity of mania and to impede recovery in psycho-social functioning. The results suggest that similar reasons and expectancies motivate the use of cannabis in young people with and without psychosis. Concern regarding the potential adverse effect of cannabis use on mental health was found to be influential for cannabis cessation and abstention; and abstention from cannabis was also associated with greater negative cannabis expectancy.

The sample sizes in this research may have meant that a small number of analyses were underpowered to detect significant differences for some variables. Nevertheless, the results of this research highlight the deleterious effect that continued use of cannabis may have for II
people experiencing their first-episode of psychosis. Psycho-education regarding the potentially adverse effects of cannabis use may help to enhance current intervention efforts among this population; however intervention must emphasise "normal" motives for cannabis use rather than psychosis specific motives.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Supervisor(s):
Supervisor(s)EmailORCID
Copello, AlexUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Birchwood, MaxUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Licence:
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/3868

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