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.
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