Sussex Psychosis Research interest Group (SPRiG)


More information can be found at

This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme (project number 10/104/501).

PRODIGY was featured by the NIHR as part of their showcase for Children's Mental Health Awareness Week (8th February 2016) - watch the trial management team talk about PRODIGY and the valuable contributions made to the project by the young person's PRODIGY Advisory Team.

PRODIGY: Study information

Trial registration: ISRCTN47998710

Study background: Most serious and complex mental health problems begin in adolescence or young adulthood. Some young people who experience psychological difficulties sometimes find it hard to carry on living the life they want to live: they might have problems going to school or college, finding a job or taking part in social activities. “Social recovery” is a term used to describe when someone is living the life they want to despite having experienced psychological difficulties. Recent reports have highlighted the lack of appropriate services for young people with severe and complex mental health problems: particularly those at risk of social disability.

Study aim:  This study will evaluate a new psychological intervention specifically tailored to the needs of this group: Social Recovery Therapy (SRT). The study will test whether the intervention helps with social recovery. The study will also test whether the intervention helps with mental health problems. The cost-effectiveness of the intervention will also be evaluated.

Participants:  Young people aged 16 to 25 years with emerging serious and complex mental health problems and associated social disability.

Study design:  Participants will be randomised to receive either SRT plus standard care or standard care alone. For participants randomised to receive SRCBT, the intervention will last nine months. Both groups will receive comprehensive assessment and reimbursement for their time.    

Assessments: After patients have provided informed consent for participation in the research they will complete a comprehensive assessment carried out by a research assistant. There will be repeat assessments at 9, 15 and 24 months following entry into the study.  

Timescale: Recruitment of trial participants began in September 2015 and continued until May 2017. One hundred young people participated in an internal pilot phase between 2012 and present. One hundred and seventy additional participants have now been recruited across three study centres. 

Study centres:  The research is taking place within East Anglia, Manchester, and Sussex.

 Other contacts:  

  • The Chief Investigator is Professor David Fowler (School of Psychology, University of Sussex. E:
  • The Co-Chief Investigator is Professor Paul French (Psychosis Research Unit, Manchester. E:
  • The Trial Manager is Dr Clio Berry (School of Psychology, University of Sussex and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. E:

What is Social Recovery Therapy (SRT)?

The therapy being tested, Social Recovery Therapy (SRT), is a new talking therapy which aims to help individuals spend more time doing activities which are meaningful for them. SRT is a novel multisystemic form of CBT designed to target social disability. The intervention combines multisystemic and assertive outreach case management approaches with well established cognitive behavioural techniques. 
During the therapy, the therapist works with a young person to identify activities they would like to do. The therapist and young person will then work together to try to understand anything that is making it difficult for them to do these activities and to overcome these difficulties. The therapy aims to help the young person to understand what they are experiencing and feeling, cope with it differently, and feel less worried when they do new things.