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Principal Investigator: Dr Sandra Bucci, The University of Manchester, Technical Leads: Prof. John Ainsworth and Mr Matthew Machin, The University of Manchester
Severe mental health problems such as schizophrenia affect 24 million people worldwide. Psychosis typically develops in early adulthood and up to 80% of patients relapse within 5-years.
Treating psychosis effectively is a complex process that takes time and requires a lot of resource. If the symptoms of psychosis are not addressed quickly then treatment can be challenging and ultimately lead to worse outcomes for patients and their families.
There is an increasing need to develop innovative solutions that improve the speed and quality of recovery in psychosis beyond those offered by conventional treatments. The challenge is to:
- Deliver more effective, efficient psychological treatments at the point-of-need to overcome limitations in existing practice and improve the speed and quality of recovery over and above existing drug treatments.
- Increase access to psychological therapies that encourage patients to better self-manage their symptoms and ensure early signs of relapse are identified and treated in a timely manner.
A team of researchers at The University of Manchester worked with service users and other stakeholders to co-design a smartphone app that uses academic theory to help support patients. The 12-week digital intervention works by:
- helping patients better identify the early warning signs of psychosis;
- delivering treatment at the point that it is needed most;
- improving the patient’s ability to function day-to-day;
- enhancing the patients overall quality of life; and
- potentially reducing demand on NHS services.
By applying a patient-centred approach Actissist delivers timely, personalised care that reduces the risk of distressing psychotic experiences.