The MATISSE study: a randomised trial of group art therapy for people with schizophrenia

Crawford, Mike J.; Killaspy, Helen; Kalaitzaki, Eleftheria; Barrett, Barbara; Byford, Sarah; Patterson, Sue; Soteriou, Tony; O'Neill, Francis A.; Clayton, Katie; Maratos, Anna; Barnes, Thomas R.; Osborn, David; Johnson, Tony; King, Michael; Tyrer, Peter; Waller, Diana
January 2010
BMC Psychiatry;2010, Vol. 10, p65
Academic Journal
Background: Art Therapy has been promoted as a means of helping people who may find it difficult to express themselves verbally engage in psychological treatment. Group Art Therapy has been widely used as an adjunctive treatment for people with schizophrenia but there have been few attempts to examine its effects and cost effectiveness has not been examined. The MATISSE study aims to evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of group Art Therapy for people with schizophrenia. Method/Design: The MATISSE study is a three-arm, parallel group, pragmatic, randomised, controlled trial of referral to group Art Therapy plus standard care, referral to an attention control 'activity' group plus standard care, or standard care alone. Study participants were recruited from inpatient and community-based mental health and social care services at four centres in England and Northern Ireland. Participants were aged over 18 years with a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia, confirmed by an examination of case notes using operationalised criteria. Participants were then randomised via an independent and remote telephone randomisation service using permuted stacked blocks, stratified by site. Art Therapy and activity groups were made available to participants once a week for up to 12 months. Outcome measures were assessed by researchers masked to allocation status at 12 and 24 months after randomisation. Participants and care givers were aware which arm of the trial participants were allocated to. The primary outcomes for the study are global functioning (measured using the Global Assessment of Functioning scale) and mental health symptoms (measured using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale) assessed at 24 months. Secondary outcomes were assessed at 12 and 24 months and comprise levels of group attendance, social function, satisfaction with care, mental wellbeing, and costs. Discussion: We believe that this is the first large scale pragmatic trial of Art Therapy for people with schizophrenia. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN46150447


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