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A contingency management intervention to reduce cannabis use and time to relapse in early psychosis: the CIRCLE RCT

Johnson, S; Rains, LS; Marwaha, S; Strang, J; Craig, T; Weaver, T; McCrone, P; ... Hinton, M; + view all (2019) A contingency management intervention to reduce cannabis use and time to relapse in early psychosis: the CIRCLE RCT. Health Technol Assessment , 23 (45) 10.3310/hta23450. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cannabis is the most prevalent illicit substance among people with psychosis, and its use is associated with poorer clinical and social outcomes. However, so far, there has been limited evidence that any treatment is effective for reducing use. Contingency management (CM) is an incentive-based intervention for substance misuse that has a substantial evidence base across a range of substances and cohorts. However, to date there have been no randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of CM as a treatment for cannabis use specifically in psychosis. OBJECTIVE: To conduct a RCT investigating the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of CM in reducing cannabis use among Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) service users. DESIGN: The CIRCLE (Contingency Intervention for Reduction of Cannabis in Early Psychosis) trial was a rater-blinded, multicentre RCT with two arms. Participants were randomised 1 : 1 to either an CM arm, in which participants received CM for cannabis use alongside an optimised treatment-as-usual programme including structured psychoeducation, or a control arm in which participants received the treatment as usual only. SETTING: EIP services across the Midlands and the south-east of England. PARTICIPANTS: The main eligibility criteria were EIP service users with a history of psychosis, aged 18-36 years, and having used cannabis at least once per week during 12 of the previous 24 weeks. INTERVENTION: The CM intervention offered financial incentives (i.e. shopping vouchers) for cannabis abstinence over 12 once-weekly sessions, confirmed using urinalysis. The maximum value in vouchers that participants could receive was £240. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome was time to relapse, operationalised as admission to an acute mental health service or hospital. The primary outcome was assessed at 18 months post inclusion using electronic patient records. Secondary outcomes assessed the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the intervention, for which data were collected at 3 and 18 months. RESULTS: A total of 278 participants were randomised to the CM arm and 273 were randomised to the control arm. In total, 530 (96%) participants were followed up for the primary outcome. There was no significant difference in time to admission between trial arms by 18 months following consent (hazard ratio 1.03, 95% confidence interval 0.76 to 1.40). There were no statistically significant differences in most secondary outcomes, including cannabis use, at either follow-up assessment. There were 58 serious adverse events, comprising 52 inpatient episodes, five deaths and one arrest. LIMITATIONS: Participant retention was low at 18 months, limiting the assessment of secondary outcomes. A different CM intervention design or reward level may have been effective. CONCLUSIONS: The CM intervention did not appear to be effective in reducing cannabis use and acute relapse among people with early psychosis and problematic cannabis use. FUTURE WORK: Cannabis use is still a significant clinical concern in this population. A pressing need remains to identify suitable treatments. A wider perspective on the social circumstances of young people with psychosis may be needed for a successful intervention to be found. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN33576045. FUNDING: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 23, No. 45. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.

Type: Article
Title: A contingency management intervention to reduce cannabis use and time to relapse in early psychosis: the CIRCLE RCT
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3310/hta23450
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3310/hta23450
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
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 > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Statistical Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10080906
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