About DIAMONDS.

 

Our  why.

Ultimately, our goal is to reduce the health inequalities people living with a severe mental illness experience day to day. One of those inequalities is that people with a severe mental illness often don’t get the support they need to self-manage other long-term health problems they might have, such as type 2 diabetes or COPD.

Our  aim.

The overall aim of the DIAMONDS programme is to develop and test a bespoke support and educational package that will help people with severe mental illness manage their long-term physical health conditions betters. To make a start, we are focusing on a support package for type 2 diabetes but we also want to find out if and how our programme can work for other conditions such as COPD.

 

How does DIAMONDS work?

The DIAMONDS programme started in May 2018 and is scheduled to finish at the end of March 2025. During this time, there are six smaller projects to be completed:

The DIAMONDS programme started in May 2018 and is scheduled to finish at the end of March 2025. During this time, there are six smaller projects to be completed:

Self-management is all about people’s behaviours and the things that they do – or don’t do – to keep healthy. The first project was to find out about the factors that might help or hinder people using self-management behaviours. To do that, we reviewed existing research and also carried out interviews with people living with a severe mental illness and a long-term health problem, their carers, and healthcare staff.

 

In the second project, we worked with people with severe mental illness and a long-term health problem, their carers, and healthcare staff to come up with a new education and support package to help people with severe mental illness manage their long-term health problem better. We have developed a complex support programme that includes regular meetings with a trained professional as well as an app and a new workbook for people to use in their own time. Our programme will be very flexible to make sure it fits in with people’s lives.

In the spring or summer of 2021, we will be starting a feasibility study which will be the first time that we are testing the our new support programme. We will be working with local mental health trusts and GPs to recruit around 30 people with a severe mental illness and type 2 diabetes to take part. At the end of the study, we will interview participants, their carers, and also the professionals who delivered the new support programme to find out what did and didn’t work. We will use all the information from the third project to make changes to our support package and our processes to make sure everything works as well as it can.

The following year, we will start a big randomised controlled trial in which over 400 people with severe mental illness and type 2 diabetes will take part. One group of participants will get our new support package and the other group will continue with their usual care. At the end, we will compare the two groups to see if our new support package has made a difference to people’s health.

Project 5 will focus on the costs of our new support programme and if it will provide good value for money to the NHS in the long run.

Finally, we will bring everything that we’ve learned about severe mental illness and type 2 diabetes together. We will look at ways that our support programme might also be able to support those who have severe mental illness and other long-term health problems like COPD, high blood pressure, or heart problems.

Where can I find out more?

We are working hard to make sure findings from DIAMONDS and news about the programme are easily available. There are a number of ways you can find out more:

  1. Visit our UoY website for more details about the team and our methodology.

  2. Follow us on Twitter

  3. Subscribe to our newsletter

  4. Read our blog

  5. Check out our latest research outputs

  6. And if that’s not enough, you can drop us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!