University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

A three-arm feasibility randomised controlled trial comparing antipsychotic medication to psychological intervention to a combined treatment in adolescents with first episode psychosis: The Managing Adolescent first episode Psychosis Study (MAPS)

Morrison, A.P., Pyle, M., Maughan, D., Johns, L., Freeman, D., Broome, M.R., Husain, N., Fowler, D., Hudson, J., MacLennan, G., Norrie, J., Shiers, D., Hollis, C., James, A., MAPS Trial Group, and Smith, Jo (2020) A three-arm feasibility randomised controlled trial comparing antipsychotic medication to psychological intervention to a combined treatment in adolescents with first episode psychosis: The Managing Adolescent first episode Psychosis Study (MAPS). The Lancet Psychiatry, 7. pp. 788-800. ISSN Print: 2215-0366 Online: 2215-0374

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Background: The evidence base for treatments for early-onset psychosis (EOP) is limited and of low quality. Current guidance for the treatment of EOP is mostly extrapolated from trials in adult populations. NICE, in the United Kingdom (UK), make a specific research recommendation for the evaluation of clinical and cost-effectiveness of antipsychotics (AP), versus psychological intervention (cognitive behaviour therapy [CBT] and family intervention), versus combination treatment for EOP. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in the UK commissioned this research to establish feasibility and acceptability of a definitive trial examining these three treatment options.
Methods: We conducted a multi-site, Prospective Randomised Open Blinded Evaluation (PROBE) design, feasibility randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing AP monotherapy with psychological intervention monotherapy (PI) plus a combination of these treatments in 14-18-year olds with a first episode of psychosis. We recruited participants from seven United Kingdom sites. Participants were followed-up at six and 12 months. Cognitive behavioural therapy incorporated up to 26 sessions over 6 months plus up to four booster sessions. Family intervention included up to six sessions over 6 months. Choice and dose of antipsychotic were at the discretion of the treating consultant psychiatrist. The primary outcome was feasibility data (recruitment, retention, acceptability) and the main effectiveness outcome was the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total score at 6 months. We conducted a repeated-measures analysis of the proposed primary outcome (PANSS) and the secondary outcome, the Questionnaire about the Process of Recovery (QPR) using a mixed effects model to account for the discrete timing of the follow-up assessments and adjusted for site. Safety outcomes were reported on the basis of as treated status defined as any one session of CBT or any one dose of APs; descriptive statistics are reported for safety outcomes. The study was prospectively registered on 27th February 2017,
Findings: 61 patients (aged 14-18 years; mean 16.3, SD 1.3) were recruited from 1st April 2017 to 31st October 2018, 18 were assigned to psychological intervention, 22 to antipsychotics and 21 to the combination. The feasibility of recruitment was unclear, since the trial only recruited 61 of a target of 90 participants. The study had a low referral: randomisation ratio (101:61), high rates of retention (>80%), high rates of adherence for psychological intervention (82.1%) defined as 6 or more sessions of CBT, and moderate rates of adherence for antipsychotic medication (65.1%), defined as 6 or more consecutive weeks of APs. The median number of sessions for CBT for those in the PI arm was 14 (IQR 9, 23) and 15 in the combined arm (IQR 9, 17). Of those in receipt of APs the mean duration that the participant remained on the medication was 31.5 weeks (SD 14.6, minimum 8.7 and maximum 52). There were no serious adverse events considered to be related to the trial.
Interpretation: This is the first trial to show that it is safe to conduct a head-to-head clinical trial comparing psychological intervention with antipsychotics and the combination in people in young people with a first-episode psychosis. However, feasibility is unclear due to not meeting the recruitment progression criteria, so amendments to trial design are required in order to conduct an adequately powered clinical and cost effectiveness trial to provide robust evidence.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

The full-text of the online published article can be accessed via the official URL.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: randomised control trial, antipsychotic medication, psychological intervention, combined treatment, adolescents, first episode psychosis, The Managing Adolescent First Psychosis Study, (MAPS)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Related URLs:
Copyright Info: Open access article
Depositing User: Jo Smith
Date Deposited: 26 May 2020 10:28
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2022 10:05

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