Randomized controlled trial of a cannabis-focused intervention for young people with first-episode psychosis

J. Edwards, K. Elkins, M. Hinton, S. M. Harrigan, K. Donovan, O. Athanasopoulos, P. D. McGorry

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate a cannabis-focused intervention (cannabis and psychosis therapy: CAP) for patients continuing to use cannabis following initial treatment for first-episode psychosis (FEP). Method: Consecutive admissions to an early psychosis program were screened and consenting individuals using cannabis in the 4 weeks prior to assessment participated. A single-blind randomized controlled trial compared CAP (n = 23) with a clinical control condition (psychoeducation, PE; n = 24). Results: There were no significant differences between the CAP and PE groups on cannabis use at end of treatment and 6 months post-intervention. There were no significant group differences on psychopathology and functional ratings at follow-up. A significant reduction in cannabis use was observed for both groups over time. Conclusion: PE and specific cannabis-focused intervention are associated with similar reductions in cannabis use in an FEP cohort. Simple interventions may therefore be worth considering prior to intensive psychotherapeutic efforts with this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cannabis
  • First-episode psychosis
  • Psychological intervention
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Schizophrenia

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