Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Schizophrenia is a mental illness which occurs in around 1 in 100 people. About half will also suffer from depression, and around 1 in 20 will commit suicide. The NHS spends over £2 billion a year on the treatment of schizophrenia. Medication does not work well for everyone, and a lot of service users prefer talking therapies. Several studies have shown that psychological therapies work, and can help to save the NHS money by keeping people out of hospital. Unfortunately, current psychological therapies for schizophrenia are quite long (at least 6 months) and do not specifically target the treatment of depression. Our research team has developed a new psychological intervention to meet this need. It is relatively short-term (3 months) and is very structured. This makes it easy to train NHS staff to be able to deliver it. There have been encouraging results with this new therapy in previous studies. Given the potential benefit to patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, it is important to test whether this intervention will work for them. We plan to conduct a study to find out whether this treatment is effective and good value for money in treating depression in this group of patients.

Who can participate?
Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia/schizo-affective disorder can participate.

What does the study involve?
Individuals who give consent and are eligible are allocated into one of two groups: either 'treatment as usual' or 'treatment as usual plus 3 months of positive memory training'. We will assess people at several times during the study. We will also develop a measure to use with people when they finish the study, to check whether they found it acceptable. We will compare the level of depression within the two groups in order to see whether those who received the treatment became less depressed than those who did not.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Those allocated to receive positive memory training may benefit from enhanced self-esteem and improved mood. There are no known risks associated with taking part in this study.

Where is the study run from?
Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (UK) and Southern NHS Foundation Trust (UK) in collaboration with the University of Reading (UK).

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
Recruitment will commence in April 2014 for a period of 19 months, with follow-up assessments lasting a further 9 months.

Who is funding the study?
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK.

Who is the main contact?
Dr Craig Steel

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Craig Steel


Contact details

Department of Psychology
University of Reading
PO Box 238
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Positive Memory Training for the treatment of depression in schizophrenia: a randomised controlled trial



Study hypothesis

The main hypothesis to be tested is that Positive Memory Training (PoMeT), delivered to patients with co-morbid schizophrenia and depression, in addition to standard psychiatric care will result in a reduced level of depressed symptomatology. The subsidiary hypothesis is that reduction in the symptoms of depression will mediate a reduction in psychotic symptomatology and service use.

Ethics approval

13SC0634; First MREC approval date 13/02/2014

Study design

Randomised; Interventional; Design type: Treatment

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Topic: Mental Health Research Network; Subtopic: Schizophrenia; Disease: Schizophrenia


Individuals who give consent and are eligible for the study will undergo an assessment at the start and 3 months, 6 months and 9 months after the first assessment. After the initial assessment, participants are allocated into one of two groups: either 'treatment as usual' or 'treatment as usual plus 3 months of positive memory training'. Those who receive positive memory training will have access to 8-12 one-hour sessions of the intervention within a 3-month period. The intervention trains people to increase their accessibility to feelings of positive self-esteem, initially within sessions and then in their day to day lives.

Intervention type



Phase III

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

Depression: self-report, assessed through the Beck Depression Inventory-II at 3, 6 and 9 months

Secondary outcome measures

1. Schizophrenia symptoms (0, 3 and 9 months only). Assessed by clinical interview using the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS).
2. Mood and Quality of Life. Assessed using the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD7), the Work and Social Adjustment scale and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale.
3. Self-Esteem. Measured using the Rosenberg self-esteem scale.
4. Mental Imagery (0, 3 and 9 months only). . Assessed using the Spontaneous Use of Imagery Scale.
5. Therapy Satisfaction (end of treatment only). Assessed using the newly developed measure.
6. Level of Service Use and Costs. Using a version of the Client Service Receipt Inventory (CSRI) which has been adapted for use in the current study and termed the Health Economic Questionnaire (0, 3 and 9 months).
7. Generic health-related quality of life and broader well-being of patients. EuroQol EQ-5D-5L, ICECAP-A and OxCAP-MH (0, 3, 6, 9 months).
8. Generic health-related quality of life and broader well-being of primary carers. EuroQol EQ-5D-5L and Carer Experiences Scale (CES) (0 and 9 months).

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

Participants will be included if:
1. They consent and have a current DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder
2. Present with symptoms consistent with at least a mild level of depression, as indicated by a score of 14 or above on the BDI-II
3. They will be aged between 18 and 65
4. They will be able to read and write in English to a level required to participate in a talking therapy
5. Have a fixed abode: Operationalised as having a current address (including B&B or open access hostel)
6. Evidence (e.g., from key worker) indicating that the person is more likely than not to have a reliable address throughout the 12 months study duration

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

Planned Sample Size: 100; UK Sample Size: 100

Participant exclusion criteria

Not be suffering from an organic disorder which is associated with psychotic symptoms or have a learning disability.

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University of Reading
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (UK)

Sponsor details

Fitzwilliam House
Skimped Hill Lane
RG12 1BQ
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

Hospital/treatment centre



Funder type


Funder name

NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB); Grant Codes: PB-PG-0712-28021

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

2015 protocol in

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

21/10/2015: Publication reference added.