A nurse-led, needs-based psycho-education intervention for Chinese patients with first-onset mental illness

Wai Tong Chien, Sau Fong Leung, Cecilia S.K. Chu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To shorten the waiting time for psychiatric treatment, nurse-led services may help in the first-line mental health consultation and interventions for patients with recent first onset of mental illness. Aims: The study evaluated the effectiveness of a 6-session nurse-led, needs-based psycho-education program for Chinese patients with mental health problems newly referred to an outpatient clinic in Hong Kong, when compared with routine outpatient care. Method: A randomized controlled trial with a pretest and posttest, control group design was conducted. Seventy-nine patients were randomly assigned to either the nurse-led psycho-education program (n=39), or to usual psychiatric outpatient care (n=40). Multiple patient outcomes and services utilization were measured at recruitment and two weeks after the intervention. Results: The results of a MANOVA test indicated that the psycho-education group had significantly greater improvements in mental and overall health status, insights into their treatment and illness, and hospitalization rates at the post-test. Implications: The findings provide evidence that nurse-led, needs-based psycho-education can improve mental health, self-efficacy and insights into mental illness in Chinese first-onset mentally ill patients. A future multi-center controlled trial of this nurse-led intervention is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-209
Number of pages16
JournalContemporary Nurse
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Advanced nursing practice
  • Controlled trial
  • First-episode mental illness
  • Needs-based intervention
  • Psycho-education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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