Young people with experience of psychosis have a higher chance of developing physical health problems, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, in the future compared to the general population. The Psychosis Metabolic Risk Calculator (PsyMetRiC) Project aims to create a tool that predicts which young people with experience of psychosis have the highest chance of developing physical health problems in the future.
In order to develop such a tool, it is tested on different large datasets from young people who have psychosis and are at risk of developing psychosis. It is then compared to existing tools (external validation) developed for older adults on its ability to accurately predict risk of physical health problems in young people with experience of psychosis. The tool is then further improved by testing it on more, larger datasets, before using it in real-life healthcare settings.
The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research and hosted at the University of Cambridge.
For older adults with experience of psychosis, there are several suitable physical health risk calculator tools already in existence. However, there is currently no equivalent tool suitable for young people with experience of psychosis.
It is hoped that the PsyMetRiC tool could help young people with experience of psychosis and their healthcare professionals be more informed about the risk of future physical health problems. For young people who might have a higher chance of developing future physical health problems, steps could be taken much earlier than currently possible, to lower the chance of, or even prevent the physical health problem happening at all. These steps could involve changes to prescribed medications, increasing physical activity, seeing a dietician to help with eating healthily, or getting help to stop smoking if necessary.
McPin’s Young Person’s Advisory Group (YPAG) has been actively involved in ensuring the final version of the tool is acceptable for young people, since there is no point in a risk calculator tool that asks for information young people are uncomfortable disclosing.
The YPAG has also helped shape the best way to communicate the risk scores that come from the tool to young people, in an easily understandable and balanced way.
As the tool gets closer to being used in healthcare settings, young people with experience of psychosis will help design a young person-facing version of the tool that can be used by young people themselves, independent from healthcare professionals.
Additionally, if the tool is to be used to help inform whether steps should be taken to help improve physical health, we should consider that such steps are very hard to stick to for the general population even before adding the experience of psychosis on top! As such, young people with experience of psychosis will be instrumental in understanding the barriers that might make it more difficult for them to improve their physical health, their needs to help support and maintain improvements in physical health, and the adaptation of current physical health interventions to improve their suitability.
Read the report: Development and external validation of the Psychosis Metabolic Risk Calculator (PsyMetRiC): a cardiometabolic risk prediction algorithm for young people with psychosis.
For more information about the public involvement in this project please email [email protected].
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