Mental Health – Research


A feasibility study of structured preparation for detoxification in alcohol dependence: The SPADe Trial

The aim of the proposed study is to evaluate an intervention for abstinence orientated structured preparation (Structured Preparation for Alcohol Detoxification groups) for people with moderate to severe alcohol dependence, attending specialist treatment services, before accessing medically assisted withdrawal (detoxification) and aftercare. The intervention (SPADe groups) brings forward and initiates prior detoxification a modified version of the Relapse Prevention Groups, a post detoxification intervention supported by evidence.

Chief Investigator: Christos Kouimtsidis

SABP in collaboration with University of East Anglia, University of Sussex, Imperial College London, Camden and Islington Mental Health Trust and Surrey University (Prof. Heather Gage)

Start date: April 2017


Group Mindfulness Based Therapy for distressing persecutory delusions: A pilot study for a randomised controlled trial.

Many people who have a diagnosis of Schizophrenia experience distressing paranoid beliefs, which are often associated with high levels of depression, distress and social isolation.  Psychological interventions that use mindfulness meditation are being used to benefit people who are troubled by long term mental and physical health problems. Until recently, these interventions have rarely been made available to people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, despite the significant level of need within this group.  Our research team have adapted mindfulness meditation for people who hear distressing voices and have developed a mindfulness-based group therapy. This therapy has been found to be beneficial as voice hearers reported lessening distress, and improved psychological health.  However, very little research has been done to examine whether mindfulness-based therapies are helpful for people who experience distressing paranoia.  This study will recruit approximately 40 service users who experience paranoia as their primary psychotic symptom. Half of the service users will receive mindfulness-based therapy offered in a group format over a 12-session period. The other half will receive the treatment they usually receive from their mental health teams, to determine whether the therapy group reduces depression and distress, improves psychological health and results in greater progress towards recovery.  Before we can answer this question in a fully-sized trial we first need to conduct a pilot study.  This pilot study is a small version of the fully-sized trial. It will tell us: (a) the approximate difference in outcome between mindfulness and usual treatment, (b) how easily we can recruit to the study, and (c) how many people drop out. This information will allow us to know how many participants we need for the full trial, how long recruitment will take and how to reduce drop-out rates. Once we have this information we will apply for funding for the full trial.

Chief Investigator:  Prof. P. Chadwick, King’s College London.

Principal Investigator: Dr Christos Kouimtsidis (SABP).

Sub-investigator for SABP: Dr Laura Vivarelli; Research Assistant: Eryna Tarant; Co-Therapist and Mindfulness/CBT Expert: Dr Lyn Ellett; Co-Therapist and Mindfulness/CBT Expert: Dr Jessica Kingston; Service-User Consultant: Mr Peter Jones; Statistician: Dr Jeewaka Mendis; R&D Director: Dr Helen Rostill


A randomised double blind placebo controlled pilot trial of oxytocin efficacy in treating detoxified opioid dependent individuals

Detoxified opioid addicts experience emotional withdrawal symptoms which could lead to relapse. We showed that following morphine detoxification the oxytocinergic system in mice is dysregulated and oxytocin administration reverses emotional impairment and prevents relapse, demonstrating the potential of this pharmacotherapy for heroin relapse prevention. We want to translate these findings to recovering heroin/opiate addicts following detoxification. In a double blind placebo controlled pilot trial, we will test the efficacy of 14 days intranasal exposure of oxytocin spray, Syntocinon. We hope to show reduced relapse rates, reduced anxiety, depression and social deficits as well as improved sleep in abstinent opioid dependent individuals following detoxification. The results of this pilot/feasibility study will be used to support grant applications for a full scale large clinical study on the efficacy of oxytocin nasal spray in preventing relapse in detoxified opioid addicts as well as reduce emotional impairments within these individuals.

Submission Plans: 2017

Principal Investigator: Dr Fiona Robinson
Chief Investigator: Dr Alexis Bailey
Researcher (PhD Student): Carol Weber
Dr Ramin Nilforooshan;Dr Christos Kouimtsidis;Prof Susanna Hourani;Prof Debra Skene

Technology Integrated Health Management (TIHM): Surrey Internet of Things NHS Testbed.

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have been awarded a grant to carry out an innovative project to provide people with dementia more control over their health and wellbeing.

The project, which lasts two years, will put the Trust at the forefront of delivering fundamental change in the delivery of care in the UK.

Working alongside a series of partners, the ‘Internet of Things’ Test Bed will demonstrate how the use of network enabled devices such as monitors, robotics and wearables will be able to provide better healthcare for older people in the comfort of their own homes.

With the use of remote  connectivity, carers will also be able to monitor the behaviour of the person they are caring for without needing to be at their specific location. Surrey and Border Partnership is one of two NHS trusts delivering the Internet of Things tes bed project, which will trial various combinations of technology and devices.

Through remote-connectivity, carers will also be able to monitor the behaviour of the person they are caring for without needing to be at their specific location. Surrey and Borders is one of two NHS Trusts delivering the ‘Internet of Things’ Test Bed projects, which has an emphasis on trialling various combinations of technology and devices throughout its duration.

The grant, funded by NHS England and Innovate UK, comes as part of the NHS Innovation Test Beds, a series of different projects that aim to modernise health care to benefit older patients and people with long-term health problems.

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