Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

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A pilot trial to assess the effect of a structured communication approach on quality of life in secure mental health settings (ComQuol)

Centre for Psychiatry

Funding Body: National Institute for Health Research
Project Investigator: Stefan Priebe


A review of forensic health services demonstrates a lack of service user perspective and involvement in the service, as well as a lack of research in forensic settings concerning therapeutic relationships [1].

ComQuol is a pilot trial of a structured communication approach designed to increase the quality of life of service users in forensic secure settings. The intervention combines a computed mediated approach called DIALOG and elements of Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) delivered over a six month period.

ComQuol focuses on patients' quality of life through their involvement in treatment planning and delivery, building an alliance between staff and patients and developing a valid therapeutic approach which has the potential for producing clinical and economic benefits. It employs patient-centred approach promoting patient's active participation in research and service provision.

The ComQuol study will provide an access to a structured and well defined intervention that can be incorporated into a standard practice. The findings will help to explain the relationship between Quality of Life and a range of outcomes in the forensic in-patients population and inform the development of a training programme for clinicians working in forensic mental health settings. The study has been approved by internal and external peer review and Research Ethics Committee.

ComQuol has been recognised by the selection for the 2012 MHRN award for best user involvement in a portfolio study.

The ComQuol Study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) (Grant Reference Number PB-PG-0609-19107).

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