Developing a digital platform to deliver family intervention for psychosis

Project Type(s):

  • Dong Si, PhD

The World Health Organization ranks psychotic disorders as the third most disabling health condition worldwide. Eleven million Americans will experience psychosis during their lifetime, and roughly 60 million Americans have a loved one affected by psychosis. Research affirms that psychotherapeutic interventions can help family caregivers develop skills to better connect and communicate with their loved one, which corresponds to better treatment engagement, symptom improvement, fewer hospitalizations, improved functioning, reduced substance use, reduced mortality and overall improvement in quality of life for the individual with psychosis. Family interventions are therefore critical to a holistic and effective clinical response to a psychotic disorder. Nevertheless, a recent federal investigation found that fewer than 2% of US families caring for someone with psychosis had received a family intervention for psychosis.

Psychosis REACH (Recovery by Enabling Adult Carers at Home) is a family intervention for psychosis co-developed by faculty in the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences that delivers psychoeducation and illness management skills training to family caregivers in the community. To enhance broad and equitable access to tens of millions of families and caregivers, this project will develop “Psychosis iREACH,” a digital platform that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to deliver Psychosis REACH to diverse families navigating psychosis. A virtual coach will assist families to access self-management skills practice, automated self-assessment, tailored training goals and individualized learning trajectories whenever and wherever families need the support. Psychosis iREACH represents a multidisciplinary collaboration among faculty in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing and School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.

Project Period:
September 1, 2021 August 31, 2022

Funding Type(s):

Garvey Institute for Brain Health Solutions

Geographic Area(s):

Practice Type(s):
Online/remote/apps/social media

Patient Population(s):

Targeted Condition(s):