The trial

Background to the trial

Around 7,500 young people in England develop psychosis every year. It is a severe mental health problem that generally starts in people aged 14-35 years and has long-term effects on the individual and society. Early intervention in the first 3 years of psychosis can improve long-term outcomes. However, at least a quarter of all young people drop out of Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services in the first 12 months, leading to greater risk of poor outcomes. Ensuring that young people receive a service quickly is a current NHS priority, but there are no interventions to improve engagement with services.

What is the EYE-2 project? 

This study is about improving services for people who have a first episode of psychosis so that more people want to stay with the service and benefit from its support. The first Early Youth Engagement (EYE) project developed a new approach with young people, their parents and Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) staff. The EYE approach addresses the issues that can put people off services, like the way staff talk with them, how much family & friends are included, and how much it helps with their goals, treatment choices and preferences. The EYE approach includes a website, booklet series co-written with young people, and other resources to support young people and families, and a training programme for staff in how to work flexibly, honestly and openly using key, well established “motivational” techniques to help young people achieve their goals.

In the pilot study, more young people were engaged with the new approach at 12 months. Service users and carers said it helped with isolation, trust, personal goals, better communication with the service, shared decision making with staff, and family involvement.

The aim of this study is to build on what was learnt, and to test whether the new EYE-2 approach helps young people to stay engaged with services, and whether it saves money, in more NHS services around the UK. It will develop a toolkit to support other services that want to introduce the approach. 

The EYE-2 trial is a national cluster randomised controlled trial that is running in 20 EIP services in 9 NHS Trusts and 5 broad regions of the UK (London, Manchester, Hampshire, Thames Valley, Cambridge-Norfolk). It aims to include data from 950 young people with first episode psychosis. 

EIP teams are randomly allocated to one of two groups: half of the teams deliver the EYE-2 approach and the other half work as usual. The measure of success is whether more young people stay engaged in the service for longer. The study also tests whether they have better mental health, work experience, social life, recovery, service satisfaction, and whether the approach saves money.

The EYE-2 trial is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research Programme.

For more information, visit the trial registration page.