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PsyMetRic Project for Young People

PsyMetRiC Project

The Psychosis Metabolic Risk Calculator Project

What is this study?

The Psychosis Metabolic Risk Calculator (PsyMetRiC) project aims to create a tool which predicts health risks related to young people’s treatment for psychosis. It is hoped that the tool could be used as a guide for healthcare professionals. If proven effective, the calculator could help healthcare professionals when identifying which treatments would be most suitable for young people, ensuring that any risk of physical health effects of that treatment are taken into account.  

The PsyMetRiC study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research and is hosted at the University of Cambridge.

Why is this research important?

This project is important because young people who have psychosis may go on to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, which is a life-shortening illness – mostly because of co-occurring  physical health problems such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. The best way to reduce this health inequality is to intervene early and prevent the co-occurring physical health problems developing in the first place.

For older adults with psychosis in the general population, there are a number of suitable physical health risk prediction tools already in existence. They help lead to more informed and personalized treatment decisions – ones that account for the risk of physical health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. However, at present, there is no such tool which is suitable for young people who have psychosis.

How are McPin and people affected by mental health problems involved? 

The Young Person’s Advisory Group (YPAG) have been actively involved in helping to ensure the final version of the tool is acceptable for young people, since there is no point in an accurate risk prediction tool that asks for information young people are uncomfortable disclosing. The YPAG have also helped to shape the best way to communicate the risk scores that come from the tool to young people, in an easily understandable and balanced way. In the future, as the tool gets closer toward use in healthcare settings, the YPAG will be instrumental in helping to design a young person-facing version of the tool that can be used by young people themselves, independent from healthcare professionals.

What is the current status of the project?

The tool has been developed and tested in independent samples of young people who have psychosis, and in young people who are at risk of developing psychosis. The risk calculator has been compared to and has outperformed existing tools developed for older adults from the general population at accurately predicting the risk of physical health problems in young people who have psychosis. The next steps in the project will involve testing and improving the tool in larger samples, developing a young person-facing version of the tool, and bringing the tool to real-life use in healthcare settings.

Where can I find more information?

For more information about the public involvement within this project, you can contact by email: racheltemple@mcpin.org or phone 0207 922 7874.