• Evaluation of a primary care-based collaborative care model (PARTNERS2) for people with diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar, or other psychoses: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial

      Plappert, H.; Hobson-Merrett, C.; Gibbons, B.; Baker, E.; Bevan, S.; Clark, M.; Creanor, S.; Davies, L.; Denyer, R.; Frost, J.; et al. (2021-06)
      Current NHS policy encourages an integrated approach to provision of mental and physical care for individuals with long term mental health problems. The 'PARTNERS2' complex intervention is designed to support individuals with psychosis in a primary care setting. The trial will evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the PARTNERS2 intervention. This is a cluster randomised controlled superiority trial comparing collaborative care (PARTNERS2) with usual care, with an internal pilot to assess feasibility. The setting will be primary care within four trial recruitment areas: Birmingham & Solihull, Cornwall, Plymouth, and Somerset. GP practices are randomised 1:1 to either (a) the PARTNERS2 intervention plus modified standard care ('intervention'); or (b) standard care only ('control'). PARTNERS2 is a flexible, general practice-based, person-centred, coaching-based intervention aimed at addressing mental health, physical health, and social care needs. Two hundred eligible individuals from 39 GP practices are taking part. They were recruited through identification from secondary and primary care databases. The primary hypothesis is quality of life (QOL). Secondary outcomes include: mental wellbeing, time use, recovery, and process of physical care. A process evaluation will assess fidelity of intervention delivery, test hypothesised mechanisms of action, and look for unintended consequences. An economic evaluation will estimate its cost-effectiveness. Intervention delivery and follow-up have been modified during the COVID-19 pandemic. The overarching aim is to establish the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the model for adults with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar, or other types of psychoses.
    • Status of primary and secondary mental healthcare of people with severe mental illness: an epidemiological study from the UK PARTNERS2 programme

      Reilly, Siobhan T.; McCabe, C.; Marchevsky, N.; Green, M.; Davies, L.; Ives, N.; Plappert, H.; Allard, J.; Rawcliffe, T.; Gibson, J.; et al. (2021-03)
      There is global interest in the reconfiguration of community mental health services, including primary care, to improve clinical and cost effectiveness. This study seeks to describe patterns of service use, continuity of care, health risks, physical healthcare monitoring and the balance between primary and secondary mental healthcare for people with severe mental illness in receipt of secondary mental healthcare in the UK. We conducted an epidemiological medical records review in three UK sites. We identified 297 cases randomly selected from the three participating mental health services. Data were manually extracted from electronic patient medical records from both secondary and primary care, for a 2-year period (2012-2014). Continuous data were summarised by mean and s.d. or median and interquartile range (IQR). Categorical data were summarised as percentages. The majority of care was from secondary care practitioners: of the 18 210 direct contacts recorded, 76% were from secondary care (median, 36.5; IQR, 14-68) and 24% were from primary care (median, 10; IQR, 5-20). There was evidence of poor longitudinal continuity: in primary care, 31% of people had poor longitudinal continuity (Modified Modified Continuity Index ≤0.5), and 43% had a single named care coordinator in secondary care services over the 2 years. The study indicates scope for improvement in supporting mental health service delivery in primary care. Greater knowledge of how care is organised presents an opportunity to ensure some rebalancing of the care that all people with severe mental illness receive, when they need it. A future publication will examine differences between the three sites that participated in this study.
    • A worked example of initial theory-building: PARTNERS2 collaborative care for people who have experienced psychosis in England

      Gwernan-Jones, R.; Britten, N.; Allard, J.; Baker, E.; Gill, L.; Lloyd, H.; Rawcliffe, T.; Sayers, R.; Plappert, H.; Gibson, J.; et al. (2020-01)
      In this article, we present an exemplar of the initial theory-building phase of theory-driven evaluation for the PARTNERS2 project, a collaborative care intervention for people with experience of psychosis in England. Initial theory-building involved analysis of the literature, interviews with key leaders and focus groups with service users. The initial programme theory was developed from these sources in an iterative process between researchers and stakeholders (service users, practitioners, commissioners) involving four activities: articulation of 442 explanatory statements systematically developed using realist methods; debate and consensus; communication; and interrogation. We refute two criticisms of theory-driven evaluation of complex interventions. We demonstrate how the process of initial theory-building made a meaningful contribution to our complex intervention in five ways. Although time-consuming, it allowed us to develop an internally coherent and well-documented intervention. This study and the lessons learnt provide a detailed resource for other researchers wishing to build theory for theory-driven evaluation.