UCL Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology


PRIMENT Clinical Trials Unit

PRIMENT is a virtual member of ICTM

Joint-Directors: Professor Irwin Nazareth and Dr Greta Rait (Interim)
Research areas: Primary Care, Mental Health
Number of staff: 56
Number of trials: 24

Formally established in 2007, PRIMENT Clinical Trials Unit is the result of longstanding academic collaborations between three UCL departments and divisions: Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health, Division of Psychiatry and Department of Statistical Science. The group evaluates complex interventions and medicines in primary care, psychiatric and community settings. It involves multidisciplinary teams of clinical and non-clinical researchers in psychiatry, primary care, psychology, palliative care, nursing, epidemiology, health economics, trial management and statistics.

» Go to PRIMENT Clinical Trials Unit website

Case study - REAL

The REAL study is a major NIHR funded programme grant that focuses on inpatient mental health rehabilitation services for people with severe mental health problems. Patients in these services usually have schizophrenia or a schizoaffective disorder that is complicated by other problems such as poor response to medication, substance misuse, challenging behaviours and negative symptoms (withdrawal and lack of function), that make it difficult for them to organise the day-to-day activities we usually take for granted. As a consequence, this group of service users often require lengthy hospital stays.

The first phase of the study involves a detailed survey of all inpatient (or equivalent community based) rehabilitation services in England. Later phases of the study involve development and testing of a staff training intervention to facilitate service users’ activities and improve their social and everyday functioning. A simultaneous phase will investigate which aspects of services are beneficial for service users and help them move out of hospital and into more independent settings in the community. The results of the various phases of the study will inform service managers and clinicians how best to focus resources on this complex service user group and identify improvements in care that can reduce the length of inpatient rehabilitation admissions.

The results from this study will allow us to report on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a complex training intervention to improve activity in inpatient rehabilitation service users. If successful, this intervention has the potential to be scaled up across all UK mental health rehabilitation services.