About the EFFIP Project
Psychosis is a medical term to describe a mental illness which commonly includes a range of distressing symptoms including hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. Coping with psychosis is often a challenging demand for the individual as well as everyone close to them, including family and friends (referred to as “carers” who provide caring support on an unpaid basis). The “EFFIP” project is a 5-year study aiming to develop and evaluate an online resource dedicated for carers to gain information about psychosis, and glean support and advice from others in the same position.
What is the study about?
We have developed an online resource, called COPe-support (which stands for Carers fOr People with Psychosis e-support) accessible via http://cope-support.org This study aims to find out if COPe-support works to improve carers’ wellbeing and how well they cope with caring, using a randomised controlled trial design. We invite carers to join the study and divide them randomly on a 1:1 ratio to have access to either COPe-support or a non-interactive information website (the so-called ‘control’, representing the usual internet resources on caring), for 8 months. We will ask the participants to fill in some questionnaires online to see how they are feeling at 4 time points over this period. We will also invite a selection of carers for an individual interview afterward for their experiences of using COPe-support. We will compare wellbeing and coping for people using COPe-support with people using the ‘control’. After all the data collection is completed, we will offer the participants who were originally allocated to the control group access to COPe-support.
Who are we inviting to participate?
We are inviting carers who provide caring support for a loved one with psychosis for the study. Carers can be parents, partners, siblings, other relatives or close friends who do not have a biological relationship with their cared-for person. Carers need to have at least weekly contacts with the cared-for person although these contacts could be in a variety of formats, e.g. face to face, phone calls, emails, social media such as facebook or text messages. All participants need to be aged 18 or above, living in England, able to communicate in English, and have regular access to the internet.
Who must we exclude?
Regrettably, we cannot include carers if the individual they care for suffers from a mental illness other than psychosis or those who cannot communicate in English or use online facilities due to our resource limitation. We cannot include more than one carer who might share the caring for the same individual, although we would encourage the carer to share the information learnt through the study with others in their family/social network.