Current Studies

Please see the below a list of research studies to which we are currently recruiting.  If you are interested in becoming involved in any of the studies please contact the Research Team on 01278 432000 or by e-mail

SPT062 - Brains for Dementia

Brains for Dementia Research is a project of planned brain donation, with informal interview style assessments of memory, thinking, behaviour and activities of daily living at 2 to 5 year intervals for those without a diagnosis of dementia aged over 65, and every year for those with a diagnosis of dementia. Donated brain tissue and clinical data is then available to researchers working in the field of dementia.  For more information about this study please visit: 

SPT072 - DPIM: DNA Polymorphisms in Mental Illness

The research project is trying to find out the genetic and other causes of mental illness. We intend to study the serum in blood for immune and any other causes of mental illness and to study the DNA in blood for genetic causes of mental illness. DNA is the genetic material that determines how proteins are made in the body and is the material passed on from parents to children determining inherited traits such as eye colour and hair colour. DNA is a long chain of chemicals which can change in sequence. A DNA polymorphism or mutation is a variation in the DNA chemical sequence that someone has inherited from their parents or has occurred spontaneously. These variations may influence the way the DNA affects the body such as increasing the risk for a disease.

For more information please click here

SPT117 - Narratives of health and illness for Healthtalkonline

The purpose of the research is to

  • find out what is important to people faced with different health issues
  • contribute to and websites which are run by the DIPEx charity
  • conduct ‘market testing’ focus groups with pre-launch versions of the websites
  • develop other support and information resources for people
  • train health and social care professionals
  • write research papers

SPT132 - Molecular Genetics of Adverse Drug Reactions

There is some evidence to suggest that side effects to some drugs may be determined by our genes (the basic building blocks of life).  It is likely that more than one gene is going to be responsible.  The purpose of this study is to identify some of these genes.  We plan to look at a number of genes (including those responsible for enzymes responsible for breakdown of drugs, and those responsible for determining immune responses).  As we do not know what genes are involved in toxic reactions to drugs, we have to test for many genes to identify the ones that may be important.  We require your permission to be able to do this.

For more information please click here


This study aims to investigate whether a commonly used drug losartan that is normally used to treat people with high blood pressure, can help slow down damage to brain tissue and as a result slow the progression of AD. Previous research indicates that losartan could be helpful in this way but as yet no conclusive results, such as in a clinical trial, have been produced. To help us assess whether losartan influences changes in brain tissue we will look at detailed images of your brain (made using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)) at the beginning and end of the study.

For more information please click here


The aim of the study is to provide a clinical protocol that will Predict Language Outcome and Recovery After Stroke (PLORAS). The system we are developing takes a structural brain image of a new participant with language difficulties (aphasia) and produces probabilistic estimates of long term outcome, based on whether, when, and in what respects, other participants with “matching” lesions recovered their speech and language abilities

For more information please click here


The aim of the study is to investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of psychiatric Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) compared with general psychiatric inpatient wards or care from intensive Crisis Resolution Teams (CRTs) for acute severe postnatal disorders.

For more information please click here

SPT174 - Validation of Autism Assessment Instrument in deaf children 

This project is about making assessments better for deaf children and young people, who might have autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  

For more information please visit the study's website

SPT177 - Adult Autism Spectrum 

Learning about the lives of adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives

This project is about engaging adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives in research.

At least 1% of adults are on the autism spectrum. However, very little research has been undertaken into the life experiences of adults and older people on the autism spectrum, and how these can be improved.

To address this significant research gap, in January 2015, we began a research programme about the life experiences of adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives/carers. This project is being led by Newcastle University researchers, and funded by the research charity Autistica. 

The inclusion criteria for this study is:  

  • Patients in the study who are aged over 16 years and have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, both with capacity and without capacity (carers can consent on behalf of those without capacity)
  • Carers of participants who have Autism Spectrum Disorder/ Asperger’s

For more information please visit The Autism Spectrum's website.

You can download the promotional poster for this study by clicking on the link.

SPT179 – AD Genetics

This research aims to try and understand more about how certain genes affect the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  So far over 3000 people have helped with this research and as a result many previously unknown genes that are involved in Alzheimer’s disease have been discovered. Individuals with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease are now being invited to help with this research, which is the largest currently undertaken on Alzheimer's disease and will hopefully lead to new treatments and methods of diagnosis in the future.

For more information please click here


REACT (Relatives Education And Coping Toolkit) is online peer-supported toolkit for relatives of people with psychosis or bipolar disorder. The aim of this study is to test the effectiveness of REACT for reducing relatives’ distress and explore the costs involved in delivering this intervention.

For more information please click here.

SPT183 - Patient-centred practice within physiotherapy? A qualitative study.  

This qualitative study aims to explore the current consultation practice amongst physiotherapists working in two areas of clinical practice: musculoskeletal medicine and neurological rehabilitation.

SPT190 - Scimitar 

This study is looking to find the optimum way to help patients reduce the amount they smoke or event quit smoking altogether.  

Please visit York University's website for further details about this study. 

SPT191 - Safetxt: a randomised controlled trial of a safer sex intervention

This study is looking to see if text messages can help people avoid sexually transmitted infections.

SPT192 - Lots2Care Feasibility study

This study is exploring how to develop services for people following a stroke. 

SPT198 - Dementia Carers Instrument Development: DECIDE Psychometric evaluation

This research study is developing a new questionnaire to measure the quality of life of a person caring for someone with dementia.

SPT200 - The mATCH study: People with autism detained within hospitals

SPT202 - Liaison and Diversion Trial Schemes in England: an evaluation of impact on reconviction, health service utilisation and diversion from the criminal justice system 

This study is looking into how effective Liaison and Diversion services are and to help improve the care that people receive on their journey through the criminal justice system.

SPT204 - Use of patient experience data in inpatient mental health services (EURIPIDES)

This project explores how patient experience and feedback is managed in inpatient mental health care settings.

SPT205 - treAtment of Depression and Anxiety: the effect of PersonaliTy (ADAPT)

Researchers at the University of Bristol are conducting a study that aims to find the best treatment for people with depression and complex personality difficulties attending Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services.

SPT206 - Prevalence of Pathogenic Antibodies in Psychiatric Illness (PPiP)

The study aims to understand if some cases of psychiatric illness are caused by immune system problems in some people.

SPT210 - Measuring quality of life in adults on the autism spectrum

This project is an ongoing programme of research into the ASD life course and ageing.  Participants join a longitudinal cohort study and complete measures.

SPT211 - Survey of mindfulness & self-compassion

This study is looking at the relationship of self-compassion and mindfulness with common mental health difficulties.  

SPT212 - Voice Impact Scale 

This study aims to develop a questionnaire that can be used to measure the impact of voices on the person hearing them. 


This study will explore the psychological and social impact of having diabetes alongside a mental illness, and the experience of diabetes healthcare. The aim is to increase understanding of how to improve diabetes care for people living with both of these conditions.

SPT215 - High energy high protein tube feed study 

This study is to find out how people get on with the new high energy, high protein tube feed. The study will look at the amount of food and fluids that you eat and drink (if any), how much of the tube feed you take each day, your tolerance (stomach and bowel symptoms), your weight and height and how much you like the tube feed. 

The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness studies: 

SPT168 - Suicide in Children & Young People

What are the aims of the study?

  • To describe the characteristics of young people in the general population who die by suicide and those of young people that die whilst in the care of mental health services.
  • To investigate the antecedents of suicide for these two groups.
  • To establish the impact factors such as abuse, bullying, and social media have on young person suicide.

SPT071 - NCI into suicide and homicide by people with mental illness

Research into suicide and homicide by mental health patients across the UK and the sudden unexplained death of psychiatric in-patients in England and Wales.