We are pleased to announce the selected applications that will be funded via our Small Scale Research Grant Scheme in India
The PIECEs Small Scale Research Grant (SSRG) is an initiative for building research capacity and community engagement development within the ‘Improving outcomes for people with psychosis in Pakistan and India – enhancing the Effectiveness of Community-based care (PIECEs) research program*.
This grant scheme will be locally administered SCARF and will act as support fund to individuals or collectives who work as academics, students, researchers, program implementers, health workers, clinicians and advocates who support or work in Mental Health, Arts and Community Engagement and Mental Health Evaluation.
“It is a long path for mental health professionals with research interest to become experienced in research and be successful in applying for grants. The small scale research grant is a great opportunity for young researchers to gain this unique experience at this early stage of their career”, comments PIECEs Principal Investigador in India and Director at SCARF, Dr R Padmavati, endorsed by Co-Investigator Dr Lakshmi Venkatraman: “we are delighted that NIHR and PIECEs are supporting the young researchers through this . It has been very gratifying to see the amazing innovative ideas that have come in from the young researchers. We are looking forward to seeing the research outputs of these awardees”.
Funding disbursed in India and Pakistan for this programme is £25.000 per country. SCARF, our lead partner in India, received over open the scheme to early career researchers working within SCARF programmes and associated partners in Chennai. After being anonymised, analysed and scored by an independent panel, a total of five applications will be funded on the scheme.
According to Professor Victoria Bird, Lead Investigator on PIECEs Research the richness of the proposals made it difficult make the selection. “There were so much variety of promising new projects and research emerging on the topic of severe mental illness. We are very much looking forward to work collaboratively with the selected applicants to build capacity and nurture knowledge, and together achieve impact as wide as possible”.
See below the selected projects, which will be developed in the course of the next year. Participants will be fully supported by the PIECEs Research and Management teams to develop capacity around project management, reporting procedures and good clinical practices and any further training needed to deliver projects at the highest standards.
Congratulations to all the selected projects!
- Using Photovoice to empower persons with psychosis: A pilot study from a LAMI country
Project Lead: Kasthuri Divya G.
With increasing evidence supporting participatory approaches in research, the study aims to pilot photovoice- a well-researched methodology that has been used as a community-based tool, in a mental health service user population at the outpatient department of SCARF, India.
The study will be executed in 4 phases, with the aim of finding out whether photovoice can bring about a positive change through empowering persons with psychosis. This process will include recruitment and training of participants to communicate through photographs, as well as evaluation assessments. The study intends to evaluate the impact of photovoice as a participatory tool that facilitates subjective documentation of the lived experience of psychosis.
- Acceptability and feasibility of UPSIDES peer support model
Project Lead: Ms. Sonia Sims
The proposed project aims to assess the acceptability and feasibility of a peer support model – UPSIDES. Although the UPSIDES model has been piloted and is being implemented in different parts of the world, including Gujarat, India, this study is a first-time exploration of using peer support volunteers in our setting. The different sociocultural aspects of the study setting warrant an exploration of facilitators and barriers to implementing a peer support model. This is achieved by this pilot study through quantitative and qualitative assessments that will shed light on the process and outcomes of using the UPSIDES model. Regular debrief sessions with the PSVs will keep the researchers informed about the utility of the UPSIDES workbook as a tool to drive recovery-oriented conversations.
Notes from these sessions will also help in course correction of the UPSIDES model. UPSIDES being a flexible and adaptable model can benefit from the learnings gained through its implementation and can be customised to better suit the study setting. As a long-term outcome, possibilities to integrate peer support into the mental health system at the tertiary care center will be explored using the experience gained through the implementation of the UPSIDES model.
- ADEPT Project – Of the people, for the people, by the people: Development of an Advisory board for Experience-enriched service and research in Psychosis Treatment
Projetc Leads: Priyadharshni B , Krishna Priya K, Jagadeesan Settu, Amritha P, Greeshma Mohan, Vijaya Raghavan
The proposal aims to develop an advisory board manual for people with early psychosis by involving people with lived experience, caregivers and other relevant stakeholders as the board members and to assess the developed manual. The underlying principle of the proposed protocol is to use the participatory action research approach and we aim to involve end-users i.e., the patients of first episode psychosis and their caregivers at all stages of the study.
- Use of Theatre of Oppressed methods to provide a voice for People with Psychosis
Project Lead: Manikandan Pari
Psychotic illnesses such as Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder (BD) are a group of conditions that are categorised as severe mental disorders. The impact of the conditions is determined by various factors, not just the absence of specific symptoms or disorders in people living with psychiatric problems but by a multifaceted social process in which people are devalued and discredited because of a stereotyped social status or personal characteristic.
This study attempts to use the Theatre of the Oppressed to engage persons with psychoses, providing them with a platform to express their experiences, view these from several different perspectives and possibly work through the change to enable recovery. TO is a form of popular participatory community-based strategy that uses theatre as a tool for critical thinking and transformation. It is now used worldwide for social and political activism, conflict resolution, community building, therapy, and government legislation, through supporting and developing interactions with the audience. Participating in community-based theatre will also provide opportunities for social interaction and advocacy work.
- Operational research to evaluate Namma Area, an in-operational service for the persons with mental illnesses, using mixed method approach
Project lead: Dr (Major) Karthikeyan P R, Epidemiologist
The proposal intends to evaluate the ‘Namma Area’, a hangout space, the first of its kind established within the premises of SCARF (I), for people with mental illnesses, as part of community engagement. The evaluation is intended to be carried out adapting Operational/implementation – research methods using Pragmatic Robust Implementation Sustainability Model (PRISM) & RE-AIM evaluation framework. PRISM & RE-AIM framework has been adopted because the framework in itself designed to be used at all stages of research/program/policies/interventions from planning through evaluation and reporting and across different settings using both quantitative and qualitative approaches.
RE-AIM framework is often considered as ‘gold standard’ for decision making and guidelines. The elements of RE-AIM follow a logical sequence, beginning with adoption and reach, followed by implementation and efficacy or effectiveness, and finishing with maintenance.