Texting 4 Relapse Prevention

Texting 4 Relapse Prevention

Schizophrenia is among the 20 most debilitating illnesses worldwide, responsible for 1% of the global burden of disease. Schizoaffective disorder (SAD) affects an additional 0.2% to 1.1% of adults. As many as four out of five people who have schizophrenia or SAD relapse within 5 years of recovery from their initial episode. Interventions aimed at early intervention to prevent relapse could impact public health.

The Texting for Relapse Prevention (T4RP) is an innovative service delivery program delivered via text messaging designed for people over 18 years of age who have schizophrenia / schizoaffective disorder (SAD). To ensure that the program is both salient and acceptable to the target population, formative research to inform program development will include both focus groups and a Content Advisory Team to solicit and integrate patient and provider feedback. The intervention will be tested in a randomized controlled trial against a treatment-as-usual control group (e.g., meeting with their therapist every 2 to 4 weeks and meeting with their psychiatrist at least once every 90 days or more frequently as clinically indicated). A total of 40 people with schizophrenia and 5-15 provider participants be randomized in the pilot RCT.

The investigators posit that T4RP will reduce psychiatric morbidity and institutionalization rates and promote recovery by facilitating improved patient-provider communication, promoting medication adherence, helping people self-monitor their early warning signs, and promoting self-management of symptoms. If T4RP is effective, this cost-effective and easily scalable intervention will make a significant public health impact and reduction in relapse-related costs for people with schizophrenia/SAD.

The study is being conducted by researchers at the Center for Innovative Public Health Research and Johns Hopkins Community Psychiatry Program (JHCPP).

NIH Grant Number: 1R34MH108781