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Sleep Well Study

What is this study?

Researchers from Oxford University have developed a sleep intervention for young people at ultra-high risk of developing psychosis. This study aims to work out what the important factors would be to determine whether the sleep intervention is successful.

The sleep intervention has already been tested in a small study with 12 young people. You can read more about the research by clicking here. The results are highly promising and so a much larger study is planned to test if the sleep treatment really works. In order to do this, a preparatory trial is needed to test the study procedures and develop the treatment further.

For this preparatory trial, forty young people, who are at the highest risk of developing psychosis, will be invited to take part in the study. Half of the group will receive the sleep treatment and the other half will continue with their usual treatment. Across 9 months the young people will then be measured for changes in sleep, psychotic experiences and wellbeing levels. At the end, the young people will be interviewed about how acceptable they found the treatment.

Why is this research important?

In the UK there are an estimated 320,000 young people aged 15-24 at high risk of psychosis. NHS mental health services see those who are at the highest risk. Around 20% of these help-seeking young people will go on to develop psychosis within 12 months. The development of psychosis has multiple major consequences on psychological wellbeing, physical health, relationships, education, and employment. It is therefore vital that we find ways to prevent psychosis in the first place. One factor that has been proven to cause psychosis is sleep problems, which is why this study aims to test a new sleep treatment.

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

The McPin Foundation will be facilitating the service user involvement for this study in the form of a Young People’s Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) of around five people. The LEAP will advise and shape the project to ensure that it is effective, appropriate and directly relevant to those with sleep problems and at high risk of psychosis. Some of the ways in which they will be involved include advising on recruitment methods and designing interview questions for the qualitative aspect of the research.

What is the current status of the project?

We are now recruiting people with sleep problems who deal with unusual experiences (this could include paranoia and hearing voices) to form the Lived Experience Advisory Panel. The study is due to begin in late 2019.  

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The Sleep Well study is funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). 

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 for further information.