Authors: John Farhall, John Gleeson, Andrew Gumley
Event: 2016 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Research enhancing practice; clinical issues; innovation, quality; research & evaluation informing practice; technology, online services & information
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: People who are living with schizophrenia frequently face the fear, and often the reality, of a relapse. Prevention of relapses through identifying and then acting upon early warning signs was pioneered in the 1990s, and has influenced the practice of many mental health services, however, the evidence base has been described by a recent Cochrane review as ‘low quality’ (Morriss et al., 2013). We introduce the EMPOWER study, an international research trial currently getting underway, that aims to definitively evaluate a practical relapse prevention response though use of SmartPhone technology; consumer control; attention to personal and interpersonal processes (Gumley et al., 2014); stepped care; and whole team response. We will argue how these features may improve identification of changes in well-being; maximise the time window for assistance; facilitate quick flow-through of agreed actions and maintain an empowered, positive and hopeful approach by consumers, carers and clinicians. Initial learnings from consultation groups in the Australian arm of the study will be presented. The research is funded by a collaboration between NIHR-HTA in the UK and NHMRC in Australia (Trial registration: ISRCTN 99559262).