Post-traumatic growth following a first episode of psychosis: a scoping review

Early Interv Psychiatry. 2017 Jun;11(3):187-199. doi: 10.1111/eip.12349. Epub 2016 May 18.


Aim: A first-episode psychosis (FEP) is a traumatic experience that can often result in great suffering. However, in addition to suffering, persons affected by FEP may also experience post-traumatic growth (PTG) or the perception that good has followed psychosis. Although much is known concerning the negative outcomes following FEP, little attention has been given to the state of scientific knowledge on PTG following FEP. The aim of this study is to determine the state of knowledge concerning PTG following FEP to help set the stage for a full systematic review.

Methods: A scoping review was conducted following six steps: identifying the research question and relevant studies, selecting studies, charting the data, coding and summarizing results and consulting with relevant stakeholders regarding the findings.

Results: Post-traumatic growth following FEP was described mostly as following the process of recovery and primarily, in qualitative articles. Themes related to PTG included developing positive character traits, making positive lifestyle changes, developing stronger connections with others, integrating the FEP with the self, experiencing greater religiosity and appreciating life more.

Conclusions: In addition to the negative aftermath of FEP, PTG may also occur. Evidence of PTG following FEP will be examined in a systematic review focused on the recovery and qualitative literature.

Keywords: First-episode psychosis; positive change; post-traumatic growth; scoping review; thrive.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*

Grant support