Faculty Advisor

Margaret Harvey, PhD, APRN, ACNP-BC, CHFN

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 11-5-2023


Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Investigative Techniques | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing | Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing | Therapeutics



There is limited research aimed at addressing the reoccurrence of admission rates for first-episode psychosis. Research shows that early interventions for first-episode psychosis lead to remissions and prevention of relapses. Research also estimates that approximately one-half of first-episode clients have a history of cannabis abuse or dependence and one-third have a current cannabis use disorder (Wisdom et al., 2011). This study looks to determine whether Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) impacts readmission rates for patients who have substance use disorder and first-episode psychosis within six months of discharge.


A comprehensive literature search was conducted using several electronic databases, including PubMed, Cochrane Library, and CINAHL. The search was limited to articles published in English between 2011 and 2021 using The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) database. All articles utilized human subjects who met diagnostic criteria for psychosis and were able to consent to treatment. Key words included: medication-assisted therapy, first episode psychosis, psychosis, substance use disorders, and others. Eleven articles were initially found that met the criteria. After a rapid critical appraisal and in-depth discussion of the articles, the remaining nine were chosen for the final selection.


The key areas assessed in the articles include various types of MAT, and substance use disorders including alcohol use, cannabis, and opiate use disorders. The results of the studies showed that the use of MAT in individuals with first-episode psychosis improved treatment outcomes and reduced readmission rates.

Implications for Nursing Practice:

The results of the scoping review suggest that MAT may be effective in reducing readmission rates and improving treatment outcomes for those with first-episode psychosis and comorbid substance use disorder. However, more research is needed to determine specific types of MAT, dosage, and duration of MAT in this specific patient population.