School of Health in Social Science

CONNECT: using electronic devices to predict relapse of psychosis

CONNECT is a study that uses digital technology to determine whether a decline in a person’s mental health can be detected in advance through digital technology.

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People from all walks of life can experience psychosis. Psychosis can involve a range of experiences such as hearing voices, feeling suspicious around others, or having confused thinking. Sometimes, these experiences can become distressing and get in the way of living a fulfilling life. 

People who experience psychosis can encounter changes in their activity levels, sleep pattern and getting out and about just before they become unwell or experience a relapse. For example, a person who is feeling very anxious or low might not feel like socialising much. They might stay at home more than usual, phone their friends less, sleep less and experience other changes. 

In CONNECT, we want to see how changes in behaviours and patterns might relate to someone’s mental health getting worse. In the future, it might be possible to tell in advance when someone’s mental health might be getting better or worse by looking at these changes and offering extra support at the time it is needed. 

The study comprises of two parts:  

  • A qualitative study of people with lived experience of psychosis and NHS staff views such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and nurses, views about digital remote monitoring systems and their potential for use in managing severe mental health problems 
  • A cohort study in which we aim to explore if it is possible to use electronic devices to predict if a person will have a relapse of psychosis.  

The CONNECT study is funded by The Wellcome Trust and is taking place across six UK sites (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, London and Sussex). We have partnered with the charity The McPin Foundation to involve people with lived experience of psychosis throughout the study.