Relapse prevention in serious and enduring mental illness: a pilot study.

Research paper by J H JH Foster, R R Jumnoodoo

Indexed on: 05 Sep '08Published on: 05 Sep '08Published in: Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing


The purpose of the research was to ascertain whether coping knowledge and relapse outcomes are enhanced after 12 months following a programme of community-based relapse prevention (RP). Relapse to mental illness has high societal costs and this programme aims to lessen the likelihood of relapse by equipping service users with greater coping mechanisms by employing a quasi-experimental design with some controls. Participants are recruited from a day hospital in London. There are two groups: (1) experimental group (n = 10) and (2) control group (n = 10). The experimental group is given an 8-week RP programme, and the control group receives routine care. Both groups are then followed up at 1, 2 and 12 months. The research hypothesis was participants undergoing a programme of RP will have greater 12-month knowledge and superior relapse outcomes. The 52-week follow-up rates are 80% for experimental group and 70% for control group. There are no differences in the two groups in terms of relapse outcomes. Knowledge between baseline and 52 weeks is improved in the experimental group though most of the changes are observed during the first 12 weeks. We conclude that an 8-week RP programme resulted in improved knowledge but not relapse outcomes at 52 weeks. A randomized controlled trial should now be conducted to assess whether these results are replicated.