Experiences of service transitions in Australian early intervention psychosis services: a qualitative study with young people and their supporters

Alyssa Milton*, Tacita Powell, Katrina Conn, Rochelle Einboden, Niels Buus, Nicholas Glozier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

8 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Different Early Intervention Psychosis Service (EIPS) models of care exist, but many rely upon community-based specialist clinical teams, often with other services providing psychosocial care. Time-limited EIPS care creates numerous service transitions that have potential to interrupt continuity of care. We explored with young people (YP) and their support people (SP) their experiences of these transitions, how they affected care and how they could be better managed. Methods: Using purposive sampling, we recruited twenty-seven YP, all of whom had been hospitalised at some stage, and twelve SP (parents and partners of YP) from state and federally funded EIPS in Australia with different models of care and integration into secondary mental health care. Audio-recorded interviews were conducted face-to-face or via phone. A diverse research team (including lived experience, clinician and academic researchers) used an inductive thematic analysis process. Two researchers undertook iterative coding using NVivo12 software, themes were developed and refined in ongoing team discussion. Results: The analysis identified four major service-related transitions in a YP’s journey with the EIPS that were described as reflecting critical moments of care, including: transitioning into EIPS; within service changes; transitioning in and out of hospital whilst in EIPS care; and, EIPS discharge. These service-related transition affected continuity of care, whilst within service changes, such as staff turnover, affected the consistency of care and could result in information asymmetry. At these transition points, continuity of care, ensuring service accessibility and flexibility, person centredness and undertake bio-psychosocial support and planning were recommended. State and federally funded services both had high levels of service satisfaction, however, there was evidence of higher staff turnover in federally funded services. Conclusion: Service transitions were identified as vulnerable times in YP and SP continuity of care. Although these were often well supported by the EIPS, participants provided illustrative examples for service improvement. These included enhancing continuity and consistency of care, through informed and supportive handovers when staff changes occur, and collaborative planning with other services and the YP, particularly during critical change periods such as hospitalisation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number788
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 13. Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Australia
  • Care transitions
  • Early psychosis services
  • EIP
  • Families, carers and support people
  • Mental health
  • Qualitative
  • Service user involvement
  • Young people
  • Humans
  • Patient Discharge
  • Early Intervention, Educational
  • Psychotic Disorders/therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Qualitative Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Experiences of service transitions in Australian early intervention psychosis services: a qualitative study with young people and their supporters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this