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Pragmatic, feasibility randomized controlled trial of a recorded mental health recovery narrative intervention: narrative experiences online intervention for informal carers (NEON-C)

Ng, F., Rennick-Egglestone, S., Onwumere, J. , Newby, C., Llewellyn-Beardsley, J., Yeo, C., Ali, Y., Pollock, K., Kotera, Y., Pomberth, S., Gavan, S. P., van der Krieke, L., Robotham, D., Gillard, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-9686-2232, Thornicroft, G. & Slade, M. (2024). Pragmatic, feasibility randomized controlled trial of a recorded mental health recovery narrative intervention: narrative experiences online intervention for informal carers (NEON-C). Frontiers in Psychiatry, 14, article number 1272396. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1272396


Informal carers of people with mental health problems often have unmet support needs. Mental health recovery narratives are increasingly accessible, but their relevance to and effect on informal carers have been minimally investigated. The Narrative Experiences Online (NEON) Intervention is a first-in-field intervention that provides informal carers with access to a diverse collection of recorded mental health recovery narratives. This trial aimed to examine the feasibility and acceptability of the NEON Intervention for informal carers.

This study involved a two-arm feasibility randomized controlled trial. Carers were randomly assigned to receiving versus not receiving the NEON Intervention. The feasibility aspects investigated included the acceptability of the intervention and of randomization, trial processes, engagement rates, recruitment procedures, attrition, sample size estimation, identification of candidate primary and secondary outcomes, and the feasibility of conducting a definitive trial. A qualitative process evaluation was conducted.

A total of 121 carers were eligible, of whom 54 were randomized (intervention: 27, control: 27). Twelve-month follow-up data were available for 36 carers. Carers accessed a mean of 25 narratives over a 12-month period, and the intervention group, compared with the control group, reported a small effect on hope and a moderate effect on the presence of meaning in life. Five modifications were recommended to improve the user experience, applicability, and trial processes.

The NEON Intervention is feasible and acceptable. Significant refinement of the NEON Intervention and trial processes is required to personalize and ensure applicability to carers. Further feasibility testing is recommended prior to a definitive trial.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2024 Ng, Rennick-Egglestone, Onwumere, Newby, Llewellyn-Beardsley, Yeo, Ali, Pollock, Kotera, Pomberth, Gavan, van der Krieke, Robotham, Gillard, Thornicroft, Slade and the NEON Study Group. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Publisher Keywords: mental health, recovery, recovery narratives, carers, NEON intervention, recommender system, digital health intervention, online intervention
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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