What is the study about?
The study team have developed an online resource, called COPe-support (which stands for Carers fOr People with Psychosis e-support) accessible via http://cope-support.org This study aims to find out if COPe-support works to improve carers’ wellbeing and how well they cope with caring, using a randomised controlled trial design. Carers are invited to join the study and they are divided randomly on a 1:1 ratio to have access to either COPe-support or a non-interactive information website (the so-called ‘control’, representing the usual internet resources on caring), for 8 months. Participants will be asked to fill in some questionnaires online to see how they are feeling at 4 time points over this period. We will also invite a selection of carers for an individual interview afterward for their experiences of using COPe-support. We will compare wellbeing and coping for people using COPe-support with people using the ‘control’. After all the data collection is completed, we will offer the participants who were originally allocated to the control group access to COPe-support.
What will participants be asked to do if they take part in the study?
Participants will be given a user-account to access the online resource they have been allocated to and will have access to it for 8 months. For the initial 4 months, participants are encouraged to use the resource and its various content-elements, for about half an hour to an hour weekly. The online resources are moderated and facilitated by a qualified clinician and weekly reminders to visit the website over the following months will be sent (for which you can choose to not to receive them or to receive them at your preferred frequency, e.g. monthly). Participants will be invited to complete some online questionnaires to see how they are feeling after 2 months, 4 months, and 8 months of using the resource. The resource platform is also designed to record automatically how participants use it, such as how often they log in, what sections they visit.
To thank participants for taking part, they will be offered a goodwill payment, upon completion of each of the 4 rounds of online questionnaires (i.e. £10 for the first, £5 for the second and third respectively, and £10 for the fourth and last). The study team will offer an additional £10 goodwill payment for those who give an interview.