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Christ Church to lead pilot study into forensic mental health care provision

10 May 2012

Canterbury Christ Church University has been awarded funding to assess the effect inclusive care plans have on the quality of life for in-patients in secure mental health settings.

The three year project will be led by Dr Doug MacInnes at the University’s Centre for Health and Social Care Research, with collaborative partners Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, Institute of Psychiatry and Queen Mary, University of London.

The study will look at the benefits inclusive care plans within a forensic mental health setting have on the engagement of service users. Forensic mental health care is the provision of services for people with mental health disorders who are offenders or at risk of offending. Services are provided in secure, community, NHS and criminal justice settings.

The funding for the project has been awarded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) for their Research for the Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme.

The NIHR oversee all national research funding for the Department of Health and it is the first time Kent and Medway NHS Trusts have been part of a project that has received such a prestigious national award for research.

Dr MacInnes said: “This is one of the first such awards to specifically look into practice that has the potential to positively affect patient benefit in a forensic mental health setting.

“Research has indicated that forensic mental health services have largely ignored examining users’ views on the nature of the services offered to them. However, other studies of service users with mental health issues within a community setting have shown that the more service users are involved in their care decisions, the more engaged they become and the more positive impact their care has on their health.

“We hope to establish a structured programme, using a collaborative approach that can be used within a secure mental health setting and will allow the views and opinions of the service users to become an integral part of their treatment. Hopefully this will ensure that they become engaged with their care, benefit the service users and lessen the possibility of more extensive problems.”

The pilot study will evaluate a structured six month approach designed to increase the quality of life of service users receiving in-patient psychiatric care in secure settings. Participants will be recruited from six medium secure in–patient services in South London and Kent with 48 in the intervention group and 48 in the control group. The service user in the intervention group will complete a simple checklist prior to their monthly meeting with their keyworker. This will be used as the basis assessing the user’s needs and for focusing on changes to their care and treatment. The control group will receive standard care. Assessments will take place prior to the intervention at six months and at 12 months as a follow-up.

Notes to Editor

  • The three year study COMmunication approach on QUality Of Life in secure mental health settings (Comquol) commenced in January 2012 and is a pilot trial to examine the proposed methodology of an intervention study based upon the computer assisted structured communication approach developed by Stefan Priebe and colleagues.  The specific objectives of the study are to:
    • Establish the feasibility of the trial design as the basis for determining the viability of a large full-scale trial (the estimated treatment effect, study procedures, outcome measures, estimates of recruitment for a main trial and follow up of participants)
    • Determine the variability of the outcomes of interest (quality of life, levels of satisfaction, disturbance, ward climate and engagement with services)
    • Estimate the costs of the intervention
    • Refine the intervention following the outcome of the study based upon the experiences of the clinicians and patients

 

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

•We are the third highest university in England for student employability, with 94.3% of our recent UK graduates in employment or further study six months after graduating*.

•Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2010 UCAS).

•We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).

•2012 is the University’s Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.

*2009/10 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

 

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Jeanette Earl
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