Taking part in the CaFI study

We are looking for eligible people to join our study to see whether Culturally-adapted Family Intervention (CaFI) is effective for Black and Mixed heritage people diagnosed with schizophrenia or psychosis and their families.

We are offering CaFI to 202 families of Caribbean and Sub-Saharan African origin across the north-west, Midlands, south-east and London as part of a randomised controlled trial (RCT). We will compare their results with 202 families who do not receive CaFI to see if CaFI is at least as good as usual care. Participants randomised to receive CaFI will receive talking therapy over ten sessions.

Why take part?

The results from the CaFI pilot study suggest that further research can lead to better care and support offered to African and Caribbean people diagnosed with schizophrenia and psychosis and their families.

Benefits for service users include:

  • Improved understanding of illness and symptoms better mood and less paranoia.
  • Better social functioning – going into work, university, and volunteering.
  • Better communication.

Benefits for family members include:

  • Increased understanding of condition.
  • Better engagement and support with service users.

However, we cannot guarantee that the study will help you personally.

What the study involves

CaFI therapy is being tested as part of a research study to compare how effective CaFI is to the care usually received in mental health services. CaFI consists of behavioural family therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.

Before CaFI can be rolled out across the NHS we need to prove CaFI works. For example, if it improves symptoms and makes people less likely to become unwell and go back into hospital.

It is important to find out if people like CaFI and find it beneficial enough to complete all 10 sessions.

Learn more about the ten sessions that will take place for the families randomised to receive CaFI therapy in the study.

How are the CaFI sessions delivered?

For the families randomised to receive CaFI therapy in the study, it is up to you whether you would like to receive CaFI face-to-face, digitally, or a combination of the two. This is to offer participants greater flexibility and choice.

The sessions can take place in your home, community centre, a meeting room, or on the ward.

We have also developed the CaFI:Digital platform, which means that therapy sessions can be delivered via Microsoft Teams through a computer, tablet or smartphone.

How will CaFI be tested?

We will test CaFI by doing a randomised controlled trial (RCT). An RCT randomly places people who agree to take part in the study into two different groups.

Half of the service users and their family member or Family Support Member (FSM) recruited will be randomly allocated to receive the CaFI intervention, whereas the other half will be randomly allocated to the control group.

The control group will not receive CaFI, but will continue receiving their usual mental health care.

Anyone who takes part in the study will have a 50:50 chance of receiving CaFI therapy. We hope everyone will eventually be able to get CaFI if the study is successful.

What if I am not randomised to receive CaFI?

If you are randomised to the control group, you will not receive the CaFI Intervention and will continue to receive your usual mental health care.

The control group is an important part of our study, as it allows us to compare groups and see the impact CaFI can have on schizophrenia/related psychoses.

Having participants in both groups allows us to measure the effectiveness of current treatments for schizophrenia and psychosis.

What data will be collected from participants?

All service users and their family member or FSM will be asked to complete the same interviews and questionnaires, so that we can compare things like their symptoms and number of times people become unwell.

The interviews and questionnaires will be completed at three time points:

  • at the beginning of the study
  • at 6 months
  • at 12 months.

Participants will receive £10 at each of the time points. This will allow us to see what people’s mental health and wellbeing is like at the beginning of the study, soon after accessing CaFI or while continuing with usual care (6 months), and then 6 months later to understand if CaFI has any long-term benefits.

How will the data be analysed?

We will compare the results of both groups (CaFI and usual care) anonymously. This means nobody’s results will be singled out but will be mixed in with all other participants’ results.

This will allow us to understand whether CaFI is worse than, the same as, or better than usual care.

For this reason, it is important that all participants (those randomised to CaFI and those randomised to usual care) complete the questionnaires and interviews so that we can understand if there are any differences between the groups and whether CaFI works.

What if a participant changes their mind about taking part in CaFI?

Participants can change their mind about taking part in the study. They may wish to take part at a reduced level, for example, by completing fewer questionnaires and interviews.

Participants can also choose to no longer participate altogether. We call this dropping out of the study. Participants can do this at any time by contacting the researchers, and this will not have a negative impact on their NHS care.

More information about the study can be found in our resources for participants.

How to take part

Clinical teams may refer service users and family members to us if you are eligible.

Alternatively, if you receive mental health care from one of the below NHS Trusts, you can get in touch with us to express an interest in taking part.

  • Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  • South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust
  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust

Contact us

Please get in touch if you are receiving care from one of the above Trusts and would like to take part in the CaFI study, or if you have any questions.

You can contact us through email, or by completing and submitting our online contact form.