Internet-based treatments for early psychosis offer considerable promise, but safety and security need to be established. This study pilot tested Horyzons, a novel online treatment application that integrates purpose-built moderated social networking with psychoeducation for recovery from early psychosis.
Safety, privacy, and security were evaluated during a one-month single-group trial with 20 young consumers recovering from early psychosis who were recruited in Melbourne, Australia. Known clinical risk factors informed the safety protocol. Safety, privacy, and security were evaluated with respect to relapse and self-harm, users’ perceptions of safety and privacy, and activity using Horyzons.
No clinical or security problems with use of Horyzons were noted. Participants described feeling safe and trusting Horyzons.
Private moderated online social networking combined with psychoeducation was a safe and secure therapeutic environment for consumers recovering from a first episode of psychosis. Testing the intervention in a randomized controlled trial is warranted.