The STAR trial is a large study to find out if trauma therapy is helpful for a range of problems. It will include 300 people, across 5 NHS areas in England, in Manchester, London, Oxford, Newcastle and Sussex. The trial has recently launched and we will be continuing to recruit until 2022!
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To test whether the therapy is helpful, half of the people taking part will receive the therapy in addition to their usual care and half will continue with their usual care only. This is decided randomly by a computer, with a 50/50 chance, like flipping a coin. We will then compare how the two study groups get on over a period of 2 years.
Stressful or traumatic events are common, and can have a lasting impact. Trauma talking therapy is recommended for people who are experiencing difficulties due to such events. Small studies have shown that it is safe and can be helpful for people with problems like voices, visions, and sensations, or worries about being unsafe or persecuted. However, people with these kinds of problems are rarely offered trauma talking therapy in the NHS.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE have recommended that a large study should evaluate this therapy in the NHS, to fill a major gap in treatment availability.
The therapy is a type of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT focusing on managing common effects of trauma. It aims to help people to make sense of past events and how it affects them now. It aims to find new ways of dealing with difficult memories, experiences and feelings. This includes experiences like voices, visions, sensations and worries about harm or persecution. The therapy involves sessions with a trained therapist for 9 months.
We are looking for people who:
• Are over the age of 18;
• Have been through stressful or traumatic events or experiences;
• Are experiencing common effects of trauma like upsetting memories, nightmares, constantly feeling on edge, and difficult thoughts and feelings;
• Have problems such as hearing, seeing or feeling things other people can’t, or have worries about being unsafe or persecuted, or other unshared or distressing beliefs.