How we will do it
Workpackage 1Months 1-12
We developed a multicomponent Epilepsy-Specific Module for Youth ('ESMY'). Development was theoretically derived using the Common Sense Model of Illness. The module addresses perceived and enacted stigma and epilepsy-specific issues that impact parenting e.g. overprotection.
The existing MATCH modules were modified to account for learning problems commonly associated with epilepsy and epilepsy-specific examples provided throughout. Modifications were developed iteratively with significant input from patients, carers and professionals via repeated focus groups.
Workpackage 2Months 12-18
We trained a minimum of 12 therapists and their clinical supervisors across sites to deliver MATCH. It used MATCH's portfolio system to ensure therapist competence and adherence.
Therapist and patient perspectives on the intervention were assessed by standardised interviews analysed qualitatively.
Workpackage 3Months 18-54
The third workpackage is a randomised controlled trial (RCT) designed to test the hypothesis that adding MATCH to standard care within epilepsy services will be clinically and cost-effective. The researchers recruited young people aged 3-18 across 10 sites, to complete the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) within the epilepsy service.
Those who score above the clinical threshold using an algorithm developed in our Programme Development Grant (PDG) were invited to complete the Development and Wellbeing Assessment (‘DAWBA’) online to establish if they met DSM-V diagnostic criteria for a common mental health disorder.
Those that meet diagnostic threshold were invited to participate in the RCT until a sample of 334 was recruited.
The RCT evaluated the clinical and cost-effectiveness of adding MATCH (with the additional epilepsy-specific module) to standard care for mental health disorders. The primary outcome measure was the SDQ, independently assessed six months post-randomisation. All analyses was conducted on an intention-to treat basis and blind to treatment assignment.
Measures were repeated one year post-randomisation.
Workpackage 4Months 18-54
While receiving the MATCH intervention, 24 participants were invited to take part in two in-depth interviews, one before their therapy starts and one six months later.
We explored the experience of young participants and/or their carers, with regards to how their epilepsy and psychological and emotional wellbeing evolved over time. This will complement the quantitative measures to evaluate the intervention’s effectiveness in terms of outcomes and processes.
The interviews were analysed longitudinally using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), a method widely used to understand individual experience in health psychology.