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Hearing Voices

Qualitative Inquiry in Early Psychosis

Katherine M. Boydell and H. Bruce Ferguson, editors

SickKids Community and Mental Health Series

Paper 165 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-263-1

Release Date: June 2012

Online discount: 25%

$34.99  $26.24


eBook availability

Qualitative methods are increasingly useful as psychiatry shifts from a focus on symptom reduction to enabling people to live satisfying and meaningful lives. It becomes important to achieve a deeper understanding of the ways in which mental illness interferes with everyday life and the ways in which people can learn to manage and minimize illness in order to pursue their lives as fully as possible. Although qualitative methods in psychiatry have seen a dramatic upsurge, relatively few published studies use such methods specifically to explore the lives, socio-culturally and experientially, of those with first-episode psychosis.

This book highlights qualitative research in early psychosis. The first half of the book centres on the individual lived experience of psychosis—from the perspective of the individual, the family, and the practitioner. The second half moves from the micro level to the macro, focusing on broader system issues, including medical trainees’ encounters with first-episode psychosis in the emergency room and the implementation of first-episode clinics in the UK and Australia. This text is timely, as the proliferation of early-psychosis clinics worldwide demands that we inquire into the subjective experience of those impacted by psychosis and the social contexts within which it occurs and is lived out.

Hearing Voices is the first in a series of titles from The Community Health Systems Resource Group at The Hospital for Sick Children. This series will educate researchers, policy-makers, students, practitioners, and interested stakeholders on such topics as early intervention in psychosis, aggressive-behaviour problems, eating-related disorders, and marginalized youth in educational contexts.

Katherine M. Boydell is a senior scientist in the Community Health Systems Resource Group and Scientific Director of Qualitative Inquiry in Child Health Evaluative Services at the Hospital for Sick Children, and an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

H. Bruce Ferguson was the founding director of the Community Health Systems Resource Group at the Hospital for Sick Children and is a professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Psychology and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.


Hearing Voices is a guide to the application of qualitative research methods to the real-life experiences of youth in the early stages of psychosis and will enhance the care offered by early intervention programs. The book provides examples of how to conduct qualitative research with participants who have a first episode of psychosis, using innovative mediums such as dance as a form of knowledge translation. With a practical focus on key issues such as family intervention, pathways to care, primary care, and service delivery, this resource can help clinicians to adopt evidence-based and consumer-driven ideas into their daily clinical practice and aid researchers who want to use qualitative inquiry in their projects involving this special population.”

— Dr. Suzanne Archie, Department of Psychiatry, McMaster University, Hamilton

Hearing Voices is a beautiful volume that uniquely captures the history and movement of first episode clinics. It is an outstanding reference book for all who wish to study and understand the importance and effectiveness of early intervention and treatment of first-episode psychosis from a holistic and recovery-oriented perspective. The writers present the lived experiences and voices of patients, family members and service providers, making Hearing Voices a clear narrative of insightful experiential knowledge.”

— Chris Summerville, CEO, Schizophrenia Society of Canada, executive director, Manitoba Schizophrenia Society

Hearing Voices

Table of Contents

Related interest

Child studies


By the same editor

Preventing Eating-Related and Weight-Related Disorders: Collaborative Research, Advocacy, and Policy Change, Gail L. McVey, Michael P. Levine, Niva Piran, and H. Bruce Ferguson, editors

Understanding and Addressing Girls’ Aggressive Behaviour Problems: A Focus on Relationships, Debra Pepler and H. Bruce Ferguson, editors

Youth, Education, and Marginality: Local and Global Expressions, Kate Tilleczek and H. Bruce Ferguson, editors

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