BACKGROUND: Guidelines for how a member of the public should give first aid to a person who is becoming psychotic have been developed for English-speaking countries. However, these guidelines may not be appropriate for use in other cultures. A study was therefore carried out to examine whether it was possible to achieve consensus on guidelines that could apply in a range of Asian countries.
METHODS: A Delphi consensus study was carried out with a panel of 28 Asian mental health clinicians drawn from Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The panel was given a 211 item questionnaire about possible first aid actions and asked to rate whether they thought these should be included in guidelines. Panel members were invited to propose additional items.
RESULTS: After three Delphi rounds, there were 128 items that were rated as "essential" or "important" by 80% or more of the panel members. These items covered: recognition of psychosis, encouraging and assisting the person to seek help, how to interact with the person, responding to acute psychosis, responding to aggression, and what to do if the person refuses to get professional help.
CONCLUSION: Despite the diversity of the countries involved, there was consensus on a core set of first aid items that were considered as suitable for assisting a psychotic person. Future work is needed to develop guidelines for specific countries.