Disengagement in immigrant groups receiving services for a first episode of psychosis

Schizophr Res. 2018 Mar;193:399-405. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2017.07.054. Epub 2017 Aug 10.


Objective: Although early intervention (EI) programs for psychosis invest in clients remaining engaged in treatment, disengagement remains a concern. It is not entirely clear whether immigrants are likelier to disengage. The rates and predictors of disengagement for immigrant vis-à-vis non-immigrant clients in a Canadian EI setting were analyzed.

Method: 297 clients were included in a time-to-event analysis with Cox Proportional Hazards regression models. Immigrant status (first- or second-generation immigrant or non-immigrant), age, gender, education, substance abuse, family contact, social and material deprivation and medication non-adherence were tested as predictors of service disengagement.

Results: 24.2% (n=72) of the clients disengaged from services before completing two years. Disengagement rates did not differ between first-generation immigrants (23.3%), second-generation immigrants (22.7%) and non-immigrants (25.3%). For all clients, only medication non-adherence predicted disengagement (HR=3.81, 95% CI 2.37-6.14). For first-generation immigrants, age (HR=1.17, 95% CI 1.02-1.34) and medication non-adherence (HR=2.92, 95% CI 1.09-7.85) were significant predictors. For second-generation immigrants, material deprivation (HR=1.03, 95% CI 1.00-1.05) and medication non-adherence (HR=11.07, 95% CI 3.20-38.22) were significant.

Conclusion: Disengagement rates may be similar between immigrants and non-immigrants, but their reasons for disengagement may differ. Medication adherence was an important predictor for all, but the role of various sociodemographic factors differed by group. Sustaining all clients' engagement in EI programs may therefore require multi-pronged approaches.

Keywords: Disengagement; Early intervention; Immigrant; Psychosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Early Intervention, Educational / methods*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult

Grant support