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The Community Navigator Study: a feasibility randomised controlled trial of an intervention to increase community connections and reduce loneliness for people with complex anxiety or depression

Lloyd-Evans, B; Bone, J; Pinfold, V; Lewis, G; Billings, J; Frerichs, J; Fullarton, K; ... Johnson, S; + view all (2017) The Community Navigator Study: a feasibility randomised controlled trial of an intervention to increase community connections and reduce loneliness for people with complex anxiety or depression. Trials , 18 (493) 10.1186/s13063-017-2226-7. Green open access

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Abstract

Background Loneliness is associated with poor health outcomes at all ages, including shorter life expectancy and greater risk of developing depression. People with mental health problems are particularly vulnerable to loneliness and, for those with anxiety or depression, loneliness is associated with poorer outcomes. Interventions which support people to utilise existing networks and access new social contact are advocated in policy but there is little evidence regarding their effectiveness. People with mental health problems have potential to benefit from interventions to reduce loneliness, but evidence is needed regarding their feasibility, acceptability and outcomes. An intervention to reduce loneliness for people with anxiety or depression treated in secondary mental health services was developed for this study, which will test the feasibility and acceptability of delivering and evaluating it through a randomised controlled trial. Methods In this feasibility trial, 40 participants with anxiety or depression will be recruited through two secondary mental health services in London and randomised to an intervention (n = 30) or control group (n = 10). The control group will receive standard care and written information about local community resources. The coproduced intervention, developed in this study, includes up to ten sessions with a ‘Community Navigator’ over a 6-month period. Community Navigators will work with people individually to increase involvement in social activities, with the aim of reducing feelings of loneliness. Data will be collected at baseline and at 6-month follow-up – the end of the intervention period. The acceptability of the intervention and feasibility of participant recruitment and retention will be assessed. Potential primary and secondary outcomes for a future definitive trial will be completed to assess response and completeness, including measures of loneliness, depression and anxiety. Qualitative interviews with participants, staff and other stakeholders will explore experiences of Community Navigator support, the mechanisms by which it may have its effects and suggestions for improving the programme. Discussion Our trial will provide preliminary evidence of the feasibility and acceptability of Community Navigator support and of trial procedures for testing this. The results will inform a future definitive randomised controlled trial of this intervention.

Type: Article
Title: The Community Navigator Study: a feasibility randomised controlled trial of an intervention to increase community connections and reduce loneliness for people with complex anxiety or depression
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13063-017-2226-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-017-2226-7
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Loneliness, Depression, Anxiety, Feasibility Study. Randomised controlled trial, Community navigation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10025958
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