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SPPaRO: Setting Priorities for Paranoia Research

What is this project?

Many people experience mistrustful or suspicious thoughts, including worries that others are deliberately trying to harm them. The technical term for these worries is paranoia.

Whilst we recognise that paranoia can occur widely across the population, we would like to focus on the views on research priorities of people who feel very certain that they are being persecuted.

We are interested in the experiences of both people with lived experience who attend/attended mental health services and people with lived experience who do not attend mental health services. We also want to understand the research priorities of family members, NHS mental health professionals, and researchers.

We want to know which issues people would like to be addressed and which research questions they feel should be prioritised. There has been no research priority setting on this so far. Therefore, the aim of this study is to create a list of the key questions for paranoia research.

The list will be published for the research community. This study is being carried out as part of a doctorate at Oxford University.

Why is this project important?

Not enough is known about paranoia. We therefore need to work out what the priorities for research into paranoia are.

This research will help clinicians and researchers to develop a better understanding of views on research questions on severe paranoia. We hope that this might all  lead to future research into understanding paranoia better and improving treatments.

How are McPin and people with lived experience of mental health problems involved in this project?

People who self-identify as having lived experience of severe paranoia, family members, NHS mental health professionals, and researchers may take part. People with lived experience of severe paranoia may be currently experiencing severe paranoia, or have experienced it in the past.

The study also has a steering group which is facilitated by McPin’s Head of Public Involvement Thomas Kabir. The group includes people with lived experience of paranoia, researchers, and NHS professionals. 

How can I get involved?

Thomas Kabir chairs a steering group for the study. We are currently helping to recruit people to take part in the study:

  • People who can take part include those who attend/attended mental health services who self-identify as having lived experience of severe paranoia.
  • People who do not attend mental health services but who self-identify as having lived experience of severe paranoia.
  • Family members, NHS mental health professionals, and researchers.

If you would like to get involved you can download the information sheet here.

Or visit the study website to complete the questionnaire: https://psychiatryoxford.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1BL5IDBtw1F7n8i

READ a blog about why it is important to do this work.

Where can I find more information?

If you have any questions, or would like more information, you can contact the study’s chief investigator, David Ariel Sher on david.sher@psych.ox.ac.uk / +44 (0) 7874129928, or Thomas Kabir on Thomas.kabir@mcpin.org.

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