AIM: The current study sought to conceptualize and reach consensus on the principles of trauma-informed care in early intervention psychosis services.
METHODS: A three-phase Delphi method was employed in this study. Experts included researchers, service providers and Experts by Experience in the area of early intervention in psychosis. In the initial qualitative phase, an expert panel (n = 57) shared their views on the constituents of trauma-informed care in early intervention psychosis services. Thematic analysis led to the generation of statement items. The expert panel was asked to rate the extent to which each statement item was an essential principle of trauma-informed care, leading to consensus of endorsed principles.
RESULTS: Qualitative analysis of the first phase data led to the identification of 185 distinct statements which were compiled into an online questionnaire for the panel to rate in Phase 2. The Phase 2 questionnaire was completed by 42 experts, with the endorsement of seven principles. In Phase 3, the panel were invited to re-rate 24 statements. This phase was completed by 39 panel members, with the acceptance of a further nine principles. Consensus was achieved resulting in the endorsement of 16 essential principles of trauma-informed care.
CONCLUSIONS: The study offers novel understanding of the conceptualisation of trauma-informed care in early intervention services and suggests principles which are widely agreed by experts in the field. The recommendations may inform the adoption of consistently delivered trauma-informed care in early interventions in psychosis and facilitate the evaluation and development of services.