Recent Submissions

  • Identifying and categorizing adverse events in trials of digital mental health interventions: Narrative scoping review of trials in the International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number Registry

    Bergin, Aislinn; Valentine, Althea Z; Rennick-Egglestone, Stefan; Slade, Mike
    BACKGROUND: To contextualize the benefits of an intervention, it is important that adverse events (AEs) are reported. This is potentially difficult in trials of digital mental health interventions, where delivery may be remote and the mechanisms of actions less understood. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to explore the reporting of AEs in randomized controlled trials of digital mental health interventions. METHODS: The International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number database was searched for trials registered before May 2022. Using advanced search filters, we identified 2546 trials in the category of mental and behavioral disorders. These trials were independently reviewed by 2 researchers against the eligibility criteria. Trials were included where digital mental health interventions for participants with a mental health disorder were evaluated through a completed randomized controlled trial (protocol and primary results publication published). Published protocols and primary results publications were then retrieved. Data were extracted independently by 3 researchers, with discussion to reach consensus when required. RESULTS: Twenty-three trials met the eligibility criteria, of which 16 (69%) included a statement on AEs within a publication, but only 6 (26%) reported AEs within their primary results publication. Seriousness was referred to by 6 trials, relatedness by 4, and expectedness by 2. More interventions delivered with human support (9/11, 82%) than those with only remote or no support (6/12, 50%) included a statement on AEs, but they did not report more AEs. Several reasons for participant dropout were identified by trials that did not report AEs, of which some were identifiable or related to AEs, including serious AEs. CONCLUSIONS: There is significant variation in the reporting of AEs in trials of digital mental health interventions. This variation may reflect limited reporting processes and difficulty recognizing AEs related to digital mental health interventions. There is a need to develop guidelines specifically for these trials to improve future reporting.
  • Understanding public perceptions of virtual reality psychological therapy using the attitudes towards Virtual Reality Therapy (AVRT) Scale: Mixed methods development study

    Gomez Bergin, Aislinn D.
    BACKGROUND: Virtual reality (VR) psychological therapy has the potential to increase access to evidence-based mental health interventions by automating their delivery while maintaining outcomes. However, it is unclear whether these more automated therapies are acceptable to potential users of mental health services. OBJECTIVE: The main aim of this study was to develop a new, validated questionnaire to measure public perceptions of VR therapy (VRT) guided by a virtual coach. We also aimed to explore these perceptions in depth and test how aspects such as familiarity with VR and mental health are associated with these perceptions, using both quantitative and qualitative approaches. METHODS: We used a cross-sectional mixed methods design and conducted an exploratory factor analysis of a questionnaire that we developed, the Attitudes Towards Virtual Reality Therapy (AVRT) Scale, and a qualitative content analysis of the data collected through free-text responses during completion of the questionnaire. RESULTS: We received 295 responses and identified 4 factors within the AVRT Scale, including attitudes toward VRT, expectation of presence, preference for VRT, and cost-effectiveness. We found that being more familiar with VR was correlated with more positive attitudes toward VRT (factor 1), a higher expectation of presence (factor 2), a preference for VRT over face-to-face therapy (factor 3), and a belief that VRT is cost-effective (factor 4). Qualitative data supported the factors we identified and indicated that VRT is acceptable when delivered at home and guided by a virtual coach. CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to validate a scale to explore attitudes toward VRT guided by a virtual coach. Our findings indicate that people are willing to try VRT, particularly because it offers increased access and choice, and that as VR becomes ubiquitous, they will also have positive attitudes toward VRT. Future research should further validate the AVRT Scale.
  • Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of online recorded recovery narratives in improving quality of life for people with non-psychotic mental health problems: A pragmatic randomized controlled trial

    Slade, Mike; Rennick-Egglestone, Stefan; Ali, Yasmin; Yeo, Caroline; Ng, Fiona; Llewellyn-Beardsley, Joy (2024)
    Narratives describing first-hand experiences of recovery from mental health problems are widely available. Emerging evidence suggests that engaging with mental health recovery narratives can benefit people experiencing mental health problems, but no randomized controlled trial has been conducted as yet. We developed the Narrative Experiences Online (NEON) Intervention, a web application providing self-guided and recommender systems access to a collection of recorded mental health recovery narratives (n=659). We investigated whether NEON Intervention access benefited adults experiencing non-psychotic mental health problems by conducting a pragmatic parallel-group randomized trial, with usual care as control condition. The primary endpoint was quality of life at week 52 assessed by the Manchester Short Assessment (MANSA). Secondary outcomes were psychological distress, hope, self-efficacy, and meaning in life at week 52. Between March 9, 2020 and March 26, 2021, we recruited 1,023 participants from across England (the target based on power analysis was 994), of whom 827 (80.8%) identified as White British, 811 (79.3%) were female, 586 (57.3%) were employed, and 272 (26.6%) were unemployed. Their mean age was 38.4±13.6 years. Mood and/or anxiety disorders (N=626, 61.2%) and stress-related disorders (N=152, 14.9%) were the most common mental health problems. At week 52, our intention-to-treat analysis found a significant baseline-adjusted difference of 0.13 (95% CI: 0.01-0.26, p=0.041) in the MANSA score between the intervention and control groups, corresponding to a mean change of 1.56 scale points per participant, which indicates that the intervention increased quality of life. We also detected a significant baseline-adjusted difference of 0.22 (95% CI: 0.05-0.40, p=0.014) between the groups in the score on the "presence of meaning" subscale of the Meaning in Life Questionnaire, corresponding to a mean change of 1.1 scale points per participant. We found an incremental gain of 0.0142 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) (95% credible interval: 0.0059 to 0.0226) and a £178 incremental increase in cost (95% credible interval: -£154 to £455) per participant, generating an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £12,526 per QALY compared with usual care. This was lower than the £20,000 per QALY threshold used by the National Health Service in England, indicating that the intervention would be a cost-effective use of health service resources. In the subgroup analysis including participants who had used specialist mental health services at baseline, the intervention both reduced cost (-£98, 95% credible interval: -£606 to £309) and improved QALYs (0.0165, 95% credible interval: 0.0057 to 0.0273) per participant as compared to usual care. We conclude that the NEON Intervention is an effective and cost-effective new intervention for people experiencing non-psychotic mental health problems.
  • Healthcare professionals' experiences of recovery-oriented collaboration between mental health centres and municipalities: A qualitative study

    Watson, Emma (2024)
    Collaboration within mental health centres and with municipalities in Western European healthcare has presented challenges due to structural and cultural disparities. The Danish healthcare system faces obstacles that impact mental healthcare services, particularly in cross-sectorial cooperation. Our aim was to investigate healthcare professionals' experiences of recovery-oriented collaboration within a mental healthcare setting across hospitals and municipalities to gather a deeper understanding of this issue. Twenty-four employees were purposively sampled from mental health centres in Copenhagen and focus group interviews were conducted to explore their perceptions of working together. Inductive content analysis was used to analyse the data and identify themes and categories. The participants emphasised challenges in communication and coordination to improve collaboration within across the two sectors. This study can contribute to a greater understanding of collaboration between mental health centres and municipalities. It aims to inspire improvements in communication, coordination, and the optimisation of mental health service delivery across sectors.
  • A scoping review of remote group-based psychological interventions for people after transient ischemic attack and stroke

    Kontou, Eirini; Lee, Abigail R.; Thorpe, Naomi (2024)
    Background Mental health and quality of life are commonly affected following a stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) diagnosis, although many people are discharged without clear information about their psychological impact. Evidence suggests psychological interventions can be successfully delivered via remote methods (e.g. videoconferencing, telephone). However, it is unclear whether such interventions are effective for people post-stroke/TIA. This scoping review aimed to identify current evidence for remote group-based psychological interventions for people following TIA and stroke. Methods Four electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Scopus) were searched for articles on online group psychological interventions post-TIA and stroke. Four reviewers independently screened titles, abstracts and full texts, then two authors extracted data for included studies. A bespoke data extraction form was used to describe interventions, informed by Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR) checklists. Results The search yielded 1333 studies, from which six were included in the review. Four were feasibility studies (two randomised controlled trials, two single-group pre-/post-design). All interventions targeted stroke survivors; no studies targeted people with TIA. Delivery methods included teleconferencing, videoconferencing, an online platform (virtual multiuser world) and a hybrid approach using videoconferencing and face-to-face visits. Remote intervention components were delivered in the community or at participants’ homes. All studies included a mood measure. Improvement in mood and/or quality of life was reported across the four studies. Conclusions More research is needed to explore and confirm the potential benefits of remote delivery of group psychological interventions following stroke and TIA. Better reporting of implementation barriers/facilitators and more high-quality research are required to determine the effectiveness of remote interventions.
  • "Nothing's changed, baby": How the mental health narratives of people with multiple and complex needs disrupt the recovery framework

    Llewellyn-Beardsley, Joy; Rennick-Egglestone, Stefan; Slade, Mike (2023)
    The dominant narrative in mental health policy and practice has shifted in the 21st century from one of chronic ill health to a 'recovery' orientation. Knowledge of recovery is based on narratives of people with lived experience of mental distress. However the narratives of people experiencing structural inequalities are under-represented in recovery research. Meanwhile, uses of recovery narratives have been critiqued by survivor-researchers as a co-option of lived experience to serve neoliberal agendas. To address these twin concerns, we undertook a performative narrative analysis of two 'recovery narratives' of people with multiple and complex needs, analysing their co-construction at immediate/micro and structural/macro levels. We found two contrasting responses to the invitation to tell a recovery story: a narrative of personal lack and a narrative of resistance. We demonstrate through reflexive worked examples how the genre of recovery narrative, focused on personal transformation, may function to occlude structural causes of mental distress and reinforce personal responsibility in the face of unchanging living conditions. We conclude that unacknowledged epistemological assumptions may contribute to co-constructing individualist accounts of recovery. A critical, reflexive approach, together with transparent researcher positionality, is imperative to avoid the epistemic injustice of a decontextualised form of recovery narrative.
  • Clinical decision-making style preferences of European psychiatrists: Results from the ambassadors survey in 38 countries

    Slade, Mike (2022)
    BackgroundWhile shared clinical decision-making (SDM) is the preferred approach to decision-making in mental health care, its implementation in everyday clinical practice is still insufficient. The European Psychiatric Association undertook a study aiming to gather data on the clinical decision-making style preferences of psychiatrists working in Europe.MethodsWe conducted a cross-sectional online survey involving a sample of 751 psychiatrists and psychiatry specialist trainees from 38 European countries in 2021, using the Clinical Decision-Making Style – Staff questionnaire and a set of questions regarding clinicians’ expertise, training, and practice.ResultsSDM was the preferred decision-making style across all European regions ([central and eastern Europe, CEE], northern and western Europe [NWE], and southern Europe [SE]), with an average of 73% of clinical decisions being rated as SDM. However, we found significant differences in non-SDM decision-making styles: participants working in NWE countries more often prefer shared and active decision-making styles rather than passive styles when compared to other European regions, especially to the CEE. Additionally, psychiatry specialist trainees (compared to psychiatrists), those working mainly with outpatients (compared to those working mainly with inpatients) and those working in community mental health services/public services (compared to mixed and private settings) have a significantly lower preference for passive decision-making style.ConclusionsThe preferences for SDM styles among European psychiatrists are generally similar. However, the identified differences in the preferences for non-SDM styles across the regions call for more dialogue and educational efforts to harmonize practice across Europe.
  • 'Far Away from Home': Adolescent inpatient admissions far from home, out of area or to adult wards: A national surveillance study

    Holland, Josephine; Dasilva-Ellimah, Morenike; Nazir, Saeed; Morriss, Richard K.; Sayal, Kapil (2023)
    BACKGROUND: The increasing prevalence and acuity of mental disorders among children and adolescents have placed pressure on services, including inpatient care, and resulted in young people being admitted at-distance or to adult wards. Little empirical research has investigated such admissions. OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence, clinical characteristics and 6-month outcomes of patients aged 13-17 years old admitted at-distance (>50 miles from home or out of region) to general adolescent psychiatric wards or to adult psychiatric wards. METHODS: Surveillance over 13 months (February 2021-February 2022) using the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Surveillance System including baseline and 6-month follow-up questionnaires. FINDINGS: Data were collected about 290 admissions (follow-up rate 99% (288 of 290); sample were 73% female, mean age 15.8 years). The estimated adjusted yearly incidence of at-distance admission was 13.7-16.9 per 100 000 young people 13-17 years old. 38% were admitted >100 miles from home and 8% >200 miles. The most common diagnoses at referral were depression (34%) and autism spectrum disorder (20%); other common referral concerns included suicide risk (80%), emotional dysregulation (53%) and psychotic symptoms (22%). Over two-fifths (41%) waited ≥1 week for a bed, with 55% waiting in general hospital settings. At 6-month follow-up, 20% were still in hospital, the majority in at-distance placements. CONCLUSIONS: At-distance and adult ward admissions for patients aged <18 remain an ongoing challenge for healthcare provision and have an impact on acute hospital resource use. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Long waits in non-specialist settings increase pressure across the healthcare system, highlighting the need to improve local service provision and commissioning to reflect identified clinical needs.
  • Factors associated with non-attendance to outpatient consultation-liaison psychiatry appointments: A retrospective cohort study

    Edwards Suarez, Lori; Lappas, Andreas S.; Christodoulou, Nikos G. (2023)
    BACKGROUND: Non-attendance to outpatient mental health appointments is associated with adverse clinical and financial outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the rates of non-attendance to outpatient Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (CLP) appointments and the factors associated with non-attendance. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Retrospective cohort study, including two groups of data: 950 initial and 3503 follow-up appointments between 01/01/2015 and 31/12/2019. We employed descriptive statistics, parametric/non-parametric tests and logistic regression analysis. We used a range of environmental, socio-demographic and service-related characteristics as independent parameters and non-attendance as the dependent parameter. RESULTS: Initial and follow-up non-attendance rates were 27.5% and 18.8% respectively. Opting-out text message reminders was associated with both initial and follow-up non-attendance. Higher education was associated with initial non-attendance, whereas lower education with follow-up non-attendance. Other factors associated with non-attendance to initial appointments were: English being the participant's primary communication language, having an appointment with a psychiatrist as opposed to a trained nurse or Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, and longer waiting time. Follow-up non-attendance was also associated with younger age, shorter driving distance and higher income/employment. CONCLUSION: We suggest that improving opt-in rates through a combination of staff and patient education and promotion, improving waiting lists, reducing the stigma associated with seeing a psychiatrist, but also perhaps targeting different socio-economic groups of patients with different strategies should be the focus of policy making to tackle non-attendance. Further research into patient-related and environmental factors, such as day of the week, driving distance, language of primary communication, education, income and employment is warranted in order to design more effective policies and improve engagement with CLP, but also psychiatric services in general.
  • A quantitative analysis of human rights-related attitude changes towards people with mental health conditions and psychosocial, intellectual, or cognitive disabilities following completion of the WHO Quality Rights e-training in Ghana

    Poynton-Smith, Emma; Orrell, Martin; Gyimah, Leveana; McKenzie, Caitlin
    Background: Despite growing recognition of essential human rights, people with mental health conditions and psychosocial, intellectual, or cognitive disabilities' rights are known to be frequently violated in mental healthcare worldwide, with common use of coercive practices and limited recognition of people's right to exercise their legal capacity and make decisions for themselves on treatment and other issues affecting them. To tackle this issue, Ghana adopted the WHO QualityRights Initiative in 2019. This aims to introduce a right-based, person-centred recovery approach within the mental health care system, protecting and promoting the rights of people with mental health conditions, psychosocial, cognitive, and intellectual disabilities in the healthcare context and community. Method(s): E-training (capacity-building) was provided in Ghana across a broad array of stakeholder groups including healthcare professionals, carers, and people with lived experience. The training covered legal capacity, coercion, community inclusion, recovery approach, service environment, and the negative attitudes commonly held by stakeholder groups; it was completed by 17,000 people in Ghana as of December 2021. We assessed the impact of the e-training on attitudes through comparing trainees' pre- and post-questionnaire responses on 17 items, each measured on a 5-point Likert scale (strongly disagree to strongly agree), such that higher scores indicated negative attitudes towards persons with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities as rights holders. Analyses were conducted on two main groups: matched pairs (417 pairs of baseline and follow-up questionnaire responses matched to a high degree of certainty), and the unmatched group (4299 individual completed questionnaire responses). Result(s): We assessed the impact of the WHO QualityRights e-training on attitudes: training resulted in highly significant attitude changes towards alignment with human rights, with scores changing by approximately 40% between baseline and follow-up. In particular, attitude changes were seen in items representing treatment choice, legal capacity, and coercion. This change was not affected by age, gender, or background experience. Conclusion(s): The QualityRights e-training programme is effective in changing people's (especially healthcare professionals') attitudes towards people with mental health conditions and psychosocial, intellectual, or cognitive disabilities: this is a step towards mental healthcare being more with human rights-based worldwide.
  • Widening participation - recruitment methods in mental health randomised controlled trials: a qualitative study

    Hall, Charlotte L.; Rennick-Egglestone, Stefan; Martin, Jennifer L. (2023)
    BACKGROUND: Barriers to mental health research participation are well documented including distrust of services and research; and stigma surrounding mental health. They can contribute to a lack of diversity amongst participants in mental health research, which threatens the generalisability of knowledge. Given the recent widespread use of the internet in medical research, this study aimed to explore the perspectives of key partners on the use of online (e.g. social media) and offline (e.g. in-person) recruitment as an approach to improving diversity in mental health randomised controlled trials (RCTs). METHODS: Face-to-face and online interviews/focus groups with researchers working in mental health and Patient and Public Involvement partners in the United Kingdom. Recordings were transcribed and analysed using a combination of inductive and deductive thematic analysis. RESULTS: Three focus groups and three interviews were conducted with a total N = 23 participants. Four overarching themes were identified: (1) recruitment reach; (2) Demographic factors that affect selection of recruitment method; (3) safety of technology, and; (4) practical challenges. Five main factors were identified that affect the choice of recruitment method: age, complexity of mental health problem and stigma, cultural and ethnicity differences and digital divide. The use of online methods was considered more accessible to people who may feel stigmatised by their mental health condition and with a benefit of reaching a wider population. However, a common view amongst participants was that online methods require closer data monitoring for quality of responders, are not fully secure and less trustworthy compared to offline methods that enable participants to build relationships with health providers. Funding, staff time and experience, organisational support, and technical issues such as spam or phishing emails were highlighted as practical challenges facing online recruitment. All participants agreed that using a hybrid approach tailored to the population under study is paramount. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlighted the importance of offering a flexible and multifaceted recruitment approach by integrating online with offline methods to support inclusivity and widening participation in mental health research. The findings will be used to develop considerations for researchers designing RCTs to improve recruitment in mental health research.
  • Testing bidirectionality in associations of awareness of age-related gains and losses with physical, mental, and cognitive functioning across one year: The role of age

    Sabatini, Serena; Stephan, Blossom C. M. (2023)
    OBJECTIVES: The bidirectionality between self-perceptions of aging and health-related outcomes may depend on age group. Therefore, we tested such bidirectionality among individuals in late midlife (50-64 years), young-old age (65-74 years), and old-old age (75+ years), taking advantage of the construct of awareness of age-related change (AARC) and its 2-dimensionality in terms of AARC-gains and AARC-losses. Various conceptualizations of physical, mental, and cognitive functioning were used as outcomes. METHODS: Data from two measurement occasions (2019; 2020) from the UK PROTECT study for individuals in late midlife (N = 2,385), young-old age (N = 2,430), and old-old age (N = 539) were used. Data on self-reported functional difficulties, depression, anxiety, and performance on four computerized cognitive tasks (i.e., verbal reasoning, paired associate learning, self-ordered search, and digit span) providing a score for verbal reasoning and a score for working memory were analyzed using cross-lagged panel models. RESULTS: Across all three age groups the bidirectional associations of AARC-gains with indicators of functioning were not significant, whereas higher AARC-losses significantly predicted slightly greater functional difficulties and higher depression and anxiety levels. Higher AARC-losses predicted slightly poorer Verbal Reasoning only in old-old age and poorer Working Memory predicted slightly higher AARC-losses only in young-old age. The remaining associations of AARC-losses with cognitive tasks were not statistically significant. DISCUSSION: In accordance with previous research targeting other indicators of self-perceptions of aging, this study supported a stronger impact of AARC-losses on indicators of physical functioning and mental health than vice versa from midlife to old-old age.
  • Seasonal trends in antidepressant prescribing, depression, anxiety and self-harm in adolescents and young adults: An open cohort study using English primary care data

    Hollis, Chris P.; Butler, Debbie; Waldram, David (2023)
    BACKGROUND: There is an increasing demand for mental health services for young people, which may vary across the year. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether there are seasonal patterns in primary care antidepressant prescribing and mental health issues in adolescents and young adults. METHODS: This cohort study used anonymised electronic health records from general practices in England contributing to QResearch. It included 5 081 263 males and females aged 14-18 (adolescents), 19-23 and 24-28 years between 2006 and 2019. The incidence rates per 1000 person-years and the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were calculated for the first records of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) prescription, depression, anxiety and self-harm. The IRRs were adjusted for year, region, deprivation, ethnic group and number of working days. FINDINGS: There was an increase in SSRI prescribing, depression and anxiety incidence in male and female adolescents in the autumn months (September-November) that was not seen in older age groups. The IRRs for SSRI prescribing for adolescents peaked in November (females: 1.75, 95% CI 1.67 to 1.83, p<0.001; males: 1.72, 95% CI 1.61 to 1.84, p<0.001, vs in January) and for depression (females: 1.29, 95% CI 1.25 to 1.33, p<0.001; males: 1.29, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.35, p<0.001). Anxiety peaked in November for females aged 14-18 years (1.17, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.22, p<0.001) and in September for males (1.19, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.27, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: There were higher rates of antidepressant prescribing and consultations for depression and anxiety at the start of the school year among adolescents. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Support around mental health issues from general practitioners and others should be focused during autumn.
  • Levels of awareness of age-related gains and losses throughout adulthood and their developmental correlates

    Sabatini, Serena (2023)
    Views of aging predict key developmental outcomes. Less is known, however, about the consequences of constellations of domain-specific perceived gains and losses across the full adult lifespan. First, we explored levels of awareness of age-related gains (AARC-gains) and losses (AARC-losses) in five behavioral domains across adulthood. Second, we identified the number and types of profiles of AARC-gains and AARC-losses in young adulthood, midlife, young-old age, and old-old age. Third, we investigated whether the identified profiles differed in their associations with developmental correlates. Data came from the 2018 German Socio-Economic Panel Innovation Sample (SOEP-IS), comprising 403 young, 721 middle-aged, 260 young-old and 228 old-old individuals. We assessed AARC, physical and mental functioning, information processing speed, social relations, lifestyle, and engagement. At the sample level, AARC-losses were higher in old age, whereas AARC-gains did not differ across adulthood. Latent profile analyses revealed two distinguishable constellations of AARC-gains and AARC-losses that characterize young adulthood and old-old age, whereas four and three gains-to-losses constellations are needed to characterize midlife and young-old age, respectively. In middle, young-old, and old-old age, profiles with more AARC-losses were associated with poorer scores on all developmental correlates. Overall, study results suggest that age-related experiences are most diversified in midlife and young-old age. Asking individuals about their negative age-related experiences may help identify those individuals who are doing less well in important developmental correlates. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).
  • Differences in self-perceptions of aging across the adult lifespan: The sample case of awareness of age-related gains and losses

    Sabatini, Serena (2023)
    Rooted in the premises of lifespan developmental theory, the concept of awareness of age-related change (AARC) posits that growing older comes with both experiences of gains and losses across different behavioral domains. However, little is known about how age-related change is perceived across the entire adult lifespan, provided that respective measures can be validly compared. Further, few studies have adopted an approach that examines gains and losses simultaneously to study a potential shift in the ratio of perceived age-related gains and losses from adolescence to advanced old age. Using cross-sectional data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, this study tested the measurement invariance of the 10-item AARC short form and examined age differences in the awareness of age-related changes across 1,612 participants aged 16-93 years. First, partial measurement invariance of the AARC-Gains and AARC-Losses scales was established, allowing for valid group comparisons across young adulthood, midlife, and old age. Second, results indicated that people experience more AARC-Gains than AARC-Losses throughout the adult lifespan. However, older adults exhibited an increasingly less favorable gains-to-losses ratio, primarily driven by more loss experiences. Gain experiences were mostly stable across age groups. Third, differences in levels of AARC were related to individuals' background characteristics relevant at the respective time of life, such as education (early adulthood), employment (midlife), and social resources (old age). These results highlight the utility of considering a broad age range when examining the nature and correlates of age differences in perceived age-related gains and losses. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).
  • Developing a prototype digital risk mitigation pathway for children and young people admitted to acute paediatric NHS care in mental health crisis: Protocol of the Safety Assessment in Paediatric healthcare Environments (SAPhE) pathway study

    Craven, Michael P. (2023)
    BACKGROUND: Globally, there are increasing numbers of Children and young people (CYPs) experiencing a mental health crisis requiring admission to acute paediatric inpatient care. These CYPs can often experience fluctuating emotional states accompanied by urges to self-harm or attempt to end their life, leading to reduced safety and poorer experiences. Currently, in the UK National Health Service (NHS) there are no standardised, evidence-based interventions in acute paediatric care to mitigate or minimise immediate risk of self-harm and suicide in CYP admitted with mental health crisis. OBJECTIVE: To outline the protocol for the SAPhE Pathway study which aims to: 1) identify and prioritise risk mitigation strategies to include in the digital prototype, 2) understand the feasibility of implementing a novel digital risk mitigation pathway in differing NHS contexts, and 3) co-create a prototype digital risk mitigation pathway. METHODS: This is a multi-centre study uses a mixed-methods design. A systematic review and exploratory methods (interviews, surveys, and focus groups) will be used to identify the content and feasibility of implementing a digital risk mitigation pathway. Participants will include healthcare professionals, digital experts and CYP with experience of mental health conditions. Data will be collected between January 2022 and March 2023 and analysed using content and thematic analysis, case study, cross-case analysis for qualitative data and descriptive statistics for quantitative data. Findings will inform the experience-based co-design workshops. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study received full ethical approval from NHS REC [Ref: 22/SC/0237 and 22/WM/0167]. Findings will be made available to all stakeholders using multiple approaches.
  • Improving mental healthcare access and experience for people from minority ethnic groups: An England-wide multisite experience-based codesign (EBCD) study

    Franklin, Donna (2023)
    BACKGROUND: Long-standing ethnic inequalities in access and mental healthcare were worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVES: Stakeholders coproduced local and national implementation plans to improve mental healthcare for people from minority ethnic groups. METHODS: Experience-based codesign conducted in four areas covered by National Health Service (NHS) mental health trusts: Coventry and Warwickshire, Greater Manchester, East London and Sheffield. Data were analysed using an interpretivist-constructivist approach, seeking validation from participants on their priority actions and implementation plans. Service users (n=29), carers (n=9) and health professionals (n=33) took part in interviews; focus groups (service users, n=15; carers, n=8; health professionals, n=24); and codesign workshops (service users, n=15; carers, n=5; health professionals, n=21) from July 2021 to July 2022. FINDINGS: Each study site identified 2-3 local priority actions. Three were consistent across areas: (1) reaching out to communities and collaborating with third sector organisations; (2) diversifying the mental healthcare offer to provide culturally appropriate therapeutic approaches and (3) enabling open discussions about ethnicity, culture and racism. National priority actions included: (1) co-ordination of a national hub to bring about system level change and (2) recognition of the centrality of service users and communities in the design and provision of services. CONCLUSIONS: Stakeholder-led implementation plans highlight that substantial change is needed to increase equity in mental healthcare in England. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Working with people with lived experience in leadership roles, and collaborations between NHS and community organisations will be essential. Future research avenues include comparison of the benefits of culturally specific versus generic therapeutic interventions.
  • Organisational and student characteristics, fidelity, funding models, and unit costs of recovery colleges in 28 countries: a cross-sectional survey

    McPhilbin, Merly; Repper, Julie; Kotera, Yasuhiro; Slade, Mike (2023)
    BACKGROUND: Recovery colleges were developed in England to support the recovery of individuals who have mental health symptoms or mental illness. They have been founded in many countries but there has been little international research on recovery colleges and no studies investigating their staffing, fidelity, or costs. We aimed to characterise recovery colleges internationally, to understand organisational and student characteristics, fidelity, and budget. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we identified all countries in which recovery colleges exist. We repeated a cross-sectional survey done in England for recovery colleges in 28 countries. In both surveys, recovery colleges were defined as services that supported personal recovery, that were coproduced with students and staff, and where students learned collaboratively with trainers. Recovery college managers completed the survey. The survey included questions about organisational and student characteristics, fidelity to the RECOLLECT Fidelity Measure, funding models, and unit costs. Recovery colleges were grouped by country and continent and presented descriptively. We used regression models to explore continental differences in fidelity, using England as the reference group. FINDINGS: We identified 221 recovery colleges operating across 28 countries, in five continents. Overall, 174 (79%) of 221 recovery colleges participated. Most recovery colleges scored highly on fidelity. Overall scores for fidelity (β=-2·88, 95% CI 4·44 to -1·32; p=0·0001), coproduction (odds ratio [OR] 0·10, 95% CI 0·03 to 0·33; p<0·0001), and being tailored to the student (OR 0·10, 0·02 to 0·39; p=0·0010), were lower for recovery colleges in Asia than in England. No other significant differences were identified between recovery colleges in England, and those in other continents where recovery colleges were present. 133 recovery colleges provided data on annual budgets, which ranged from €0 to €2 550 000, varying extensively within and between continents. From included data, all annual budgets reported by the college added up to €30 million, providing 19 864 courses for 55 161 students. INTERPRETATION: Recovery colleges exist in many countries. There is an international consensus on key operating principles, especially equality and a commitment to recovery, and most recovery colleges achieve moderate to high fidelity to the original model, irrespective of the income band of their country. Cultural differences need to be considered in assessing coproduction and approaches to individualising support. FUNDING: National Institute for Health and Care Research.
  • Best practice guidelines for citizen science in mental health research: Systematic review and evidence synthesis

    Todowede, Olamide; Kotera, Yasuhiro; Rennick-Egglestone, Stefan; Repper, Julie
    Partnering with people most affected by mental health problems can transform mental health outcomes. Citizen science as a research approach enables partnering with the public at a substantial scale, but there is scarce guidance on its use in mental health research. To develop best practise guidelines for conducting and reporting research, we conducted a systematic review of studies reporting mental health citizen science research. Documents were identified from electronic databases (n = 10), grey literature, conference proceedings, hand searching of specific journals and citation tracking. Document content was organised in NVIVO using the ten European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) citizen science principles. Best practise guidelines were developed by (a) identifying approaches specific to mental health research or where citizen science and mental health practises differ, (b) identifying relevant published reporting guidelines and methodologies already used in mental health research, and (c) identifying specific elements to include in reporting studies. A total of 14,063 documents were screened. Nine studies were included, from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the United States. Citizen scientists with lived experience of mental health problems were involved in data collection, analysis, project design, leadership, and dissemination of results. Most studies reported against some ECSA principles but reporting against these principles was often unclear and unstated. Best practise guidelines were developed, which identified mental health-specific issues relevant to citizen science, and reporting recommendations. These included citizen science as a mechanism for empowering people affected by mental health problems, attending to safeguarding issues such as health-related advice being shared between contributors, the use of existing health research reporting guidelines, evaluating the benefits for contributors and impact on researchers, explicit reporting of participation at each research stage, naming the citizen science platform and data repository, and clear reporting of consent processes, data ownership, and data sharing arrangements. We conclude that citizen science is feasible in mental health and can be complementary to other participatory approaches. It can contribute to active involvement, engagement, and knowledge production with the public. The proposed guidelines will support the quality of citizen science reporting.

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