Sussex Psychosis Research interest Group (SPRiG)

UNICOrN: Unusual experiences and function in young people


This project is funded by ESRC funded Doctoral studentship and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. 

This project is sponsored by University of Sussex. 

IRAS ID: 208447. 

Study information

Study background and aims: We know that there is a lot of variation in recovery from unusual distressing experiences (e.g. psychosis). Some people are able to get back to work or college or a caring role, while others continue to have difficulties and don’t return to work, college or a caring role. Previous research with young people using early intervention services has found that the way someone thinks about their abilities affects their recovery. This study aims to understand more about the things that may affect what young people do in their day-to-day lives and their experiences of this. We are interested in comparing key predictors of what you do in daily life between a group of young people with unusual distressing experiences (e.g. psychosis), compared to a healthy comparison group, to identify key aspects which distinguish these two groups and are associated with day-to-day activities. Once we know this we can work towards supporting young people to improve their wellbeing.

Participants: Within this study there are two groups of participants:

Group 1: young adults aged 18-40 years of age, currently enrolled with Early Intervention Service in Sussex and experiencing First Episode Psychosis.

Inclusion criteria for First Episode Psychosis participants:

  • 18-40 years of age  
  • Ability to read and communicate in English
  • Inclusion criteria for the First Episode Psychosis service itself at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Exclusion criteria for First Episode Psychosis participants:

  • Have an organic cause of psychosis
  • Have a primary diagnosis of substance use disorder
  • Hearing and sight problems which cannot be corrected

Group 2 (control participants): young adults aged 18-40 years of age and not currently experiencing difficulties with mental health.

Inclusion criteria for control participants:

  • 18-40 years of age
  • Ability to read and communicate in English

Exclusion criteria for control participants:

  • Currently experiencing mental health difficulties
  • Hearing and sight problems which cannot be corrected
  • Have a diagnosis of substance use disorder

Study design: This is a cross-sectional study exploring the contribution of specific novel measures (various metacognitive variables) to unusual experiences and outcome within first episode psychosis.

Assessment: The study involves a one-off research meeting. During the meeting, participants will be asked to provide informed consent for participation in the research carried out by the PI. Participants will then be asked to complete questionnaires, interviews, tasks and computer tasks. Both groups will receive reimbursement for their time.    

Timescale: Recruitment of participants began in April 2017 and is expected to run until April 2018. One hundred and fifty participants are expected to be recruited within Sussex: seventy five participants in each group.

If you are interested in being involved with the study, please contact the Principal Investigator, Abigail Wright:


Telephone: 07738758102 

Contact information

For further information, please contact the Principal Investigator:

Abigail Wright
School of Psychology
Pevensey 1 Building
University of Sussex

Tel: 07738758102