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Feasibility and acceptability of a culturaly adapted Relatives Education and Coping Toolkit: A self-help Psychoeducation package for relatives of people with early psychosis in Pakistan- Ca-REACT-PK (GCRF)

Project Description

Psychosis is a condition that affects brain processes and causes the individual to lose touch with reality. It is one of the 20 leading causes of disability, affecting 29 million people worldwide. Family caregivers of people with severe mental illness experience a high level of stress and burden, more so than the burden experienced by family members of those with long-term physical illnesses such as cancer. If each psychosis patient has a minimum of 3 or 4 family members, this equates to over 90 million relatives who are indirectly affected by high levels of stress and economic burden.

The disorder is commonly occurring in young adults with small social networks. Despite these challenges, many individuals with psychosis remain in close contact with informal carers from whom they receive valued support. About 70% of Asian patients with schizophrenia live with their families and if caregivers do not have sufficient knowledge of the illness, they might face difficulties in the treatment leading to re-admission or relapse.

Relatives can contribute positively towards the wellbeing of people with psychosis, especially when family members are themselves actively supported by psycho-education. Family traditions may have a great influence on health-seeking behaviours which is determined by best accepted social, cultural and religious beliefs in the society.

The present study aims to:
- culturally adapt the existing REACT toolkit for Pakistani population;
- determine the feasibility and acceptability of a culturally adapted supported self-help psychoeducation package for relatives of people with early psychosis in Pakistan;
- identify barriers and facilitators in recruitment and retention of the target population.

We are aiming that compared with usual care, participants receiving culturally adapted relatives education and coping (CA-REACT) will experience improvement in:

- relationship quality;
- experience of care giving;
- carer wellbeing;
- general health; and
- reduced economic burden.

The proposed project will have wider scope for global partnership i.e. it may help improve access to treatment; reduce relapse and burden on family; tackling extreme poverty; and promoting global prosperity. If the intervention is found to be effective, it can also be adapted for British South Asians. In addition, our global partner will have an opportunity to work with supervisors and students facilitating opportunities for knowledge exchange between low and high income countries. The studentship will foster existing partnership and further networking and collaboration between UK academic institutions and LAMIC global partner to meet the demands for learning and leadership building among global health researchers.

Entry Requirements
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) an Upper Second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject.

If you are interested in this project, please make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. You MUST also submit an online application form - choose PhD Mental Health. Full details on how to apply can be found on the GCRF website

Funding Notes

The GCRF PhD studentship programme is a 4 year programme with integrated teaching certificate. There are up to 12 studentships available. Applicants can apply to one project which will start in either April or September 2020.

Funding for the programme will include tuition fees, an annual stipend at the minimum Research Councils UK rate (around £15,000 for 2019/20), a research training grant, training allowance and travel allowance.

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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