Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy for psychosis (EMDRp): Protocol of a feasibility randomised controlled trial with Early Intervention service users

Filippo Varese, William Sellwood, Saadia Aseem, Yvonne Awenat, Leanne Bird, Gita Bhutani, Lesley-Anne Carter, Linda Davies, Claire Davis, Georgia Horne, David F Keane, Robin Logie, Malkin Debra, Potter Fiona, D Van Den Berg, S Zia, Richard Bentall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: Traumatic events are involved in the development and maintenance of psychotic symptoms.
There are few trials exploring trauma-focused treatments as interventions for psychotic symptoms,
especially in individuals with early psychosis. This trial will evaluate the feasibility and acceptability
of conducting a definitive trial of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing for psychosis
(EMDRp) in people with early psychosis.
Methods: 60 participants with first episode psychosis and a history of a traumatic/adverse life
event(s) will be recruited from early intervention services in the North West of England and
randomised to receive 16 sessions of EMDRp + Treatment as Usual (TAU) or TAU alone. Participants
will be assessed at baseline, 6 months and 12 months post-randomisation using several measures of
psychotic symptoms, trauma symptoms, anxiety, depression, functioning, service-user defined
recovery, health economics indicators and quality of life. Two nested qualitative studies to assess
participant feedback of therapy and views of professional stakeholders on the implementation of
EMDRp into services will also be conducted. The feasibility of a future definitive efficacy and costeffectiveness
evaluation of EMDRp will be tested against several outcomes, including ability to
recruit and randomise participants, trial retention at 6- and 12-month follow-up assessments,
treatment engagement and treatment fidelity.
Conclusions: If it is feasible to deliver a multi-site trial of this intervention, it will be possible to
evaluate whether EMDRp represents a beneficial treatment to augment existing evidence-based
care of individuals with early psychosis supported by early intervention services.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Nov 2020

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