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Microsoft word - focus trial press release edi v2 01 11 2012 for voluntary organisations.docx
Ground-breaking new trial seeks people with psychosis to
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian are launching a clinical
trial to investigate the affects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in people with
psychosis who are currently taking antipsychotic medication.
The nine month trial of the new treatment is being funded with a £1.9 million grant
from the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme, which produces
independent research about the effectiveness of different healthcare treatments and
tests for those who use, manage and provide care in the NHS and is part of the
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Led by Professor Toni Morrison, Manchester and Professor Matthias Schwannauer,
University of Edinburgh, the team will recruit 99 volunteers with psychosis across
Edinburgh city as well as East, Mid and West Lothian who have tried taking the
antipsychotic medication clozapine and are still experiencing difficulties or have been
unable to tolerate it because of the side effects. The research team will also be
starting to recruit in NHS Fife in the near future.
The Focussing on Clozapine Unresponsive Symptoms (FOCUS) Trial, is the first
ever multi site study to investigate whether Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) - a
type of talking treatment - can help this group of people.
The trial will compare the progress of volunteers who receive CBT plus their usual
treatment with the progress of volunteers who only receive their usual treatment.
Half of the volunteers who will receive CBT will participate in up to 30 one hour
sessions of therapy over a nine month period with a therapist, with two follow up
meetings with a research assistant to see how effective the therapy has been.
The volunteers who do not receive CBT will be offered two follow up meetings with a
research assistant. All participants will receive a £10 token of appreciation at the
initial appointment and each follow up. If CBT proves to be effective, then it is hoped
this clinical trial will help make this treatment more widely available in the NHS.
Professor Morrison said: “Psychosis can affect many people from all walks of life.
People with this condition may hear or see things that others cannot, or they may
hold strong and frightening beliefs that other people or organisations are trying to
“Recent research suggests these experiences are often quite common, particularly
after prolonged sleep deprivation, drug use or high levels of stress. However, for
some people they can become frequent, intense and distressing. This can
sometimes mean a person is given a diagnosis of ‘schizophrenia’, ‘schizoaffective
disorder’ or ‘delusional disorder’.
“The main treatment for these problems is currently antipsychotic medication. While
effective for some, a large number of people still experience difficulties. There is
evidence to suggest that CBT can produce improvements for people living with
psychosis, which is why this clinical trial is so important.
“Running the FOCUS trial will provide more insight into CBT’s effectiveness and, if successful, provide a new type of treatment for this condition.” If you or somebody you care for have tried clozapine for at least 3 months and are still experiencing difficulties or have had to stop taking it in the past two years, and are over 16 years old living in Edinburgh city or East, Mid or West Lothian, and would like to take part in the trial, please contact Liesbeth Tip (07972620299) for more information or to register your interest.
1. The HTA programme is part of the National Institute for Health Research
(NIHR) and is managed by the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC) based at the University of Southampton.
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