Welcome to IMPULSE!
IMPULSE (Implementation of an effective and cost-effective intervention for patients with psychotic disorders in low and middle-income countries in South Eastern Europe) is a 3-year project funded by the European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 initiative. The objective of the study is to facilitate the development of DIALOG+ , a technology-based psychosocial intervention, in five countries of South Eastern Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. Researchers from the IMPULSE project aim, with the adoption of DIALOG+, to improve the conditions of people suffering with psychosis and to overcome financial barriers encountered in the treatment of psychosis in the above mentioned countries.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 779334.
What is psychosis?
Psychosis is a term used to indicate mental experiences that include: hearing and/or seeing things that are not present in reality and that other people are not able to perceive and reducing in memory and attention. Studies show that people with psychosis, about 1-2% of general population, have poorer quality of life, are less able to live independently, to have a job, a family or to maintain relationship with others. As it is often a life-long condition, psychosis can be a highly disabling illness for many. The most common treatment for psychosis comprises a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial interventions, but they do not work all the time and patients respond to them differently. Searching for more effective and cost-effective treatments is a priority. In this project, DIALOG+ represents an affordable and effective intervention which has already demonstrated positive outcomes in previous research.
What does the study involve?
Patients already have routine meetings with their clinicians, often to discuss their medication. This study involves the use of the DIALOG+ intervention during these routine clinical visits, so that patients themselves can decide which aspects of their life that they would like to discuss and work on improving. DIALOG+ lets them rate 12 domains that are related to quality of life, such as physical health, relationships and employment. Patient decide which of these they would like to discuss in detail during the meeting. There is then a 4-step approach to help improve this aspect of their life.
These meetings will take place at different time points across one year. In each participating country, researchers from the IMPULSE project will collect information about demographic characteristics, quality of life, and symptoms in patients taking part to the project through the administration of questionnaires and clinical scales.
Before the study is set-up, focus groups and interviews will be conducted with patients, families, clinicians and other stakeholders to better understand how to implement the DIALOG+ intervention in each country. That way, the study will also gather data about the local context, which will help with better understanding issues that are specific to that location.