Trinity study aims to develop research questions about reducing and stopping psychiatric drugs

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A study to help identify the top priorities for future research about reducing and stopping psychiatric medications is seeking people to take part in two anonymous online surveys to help shape the research agenda about reducing and stopping psychiatric medicines.

The Priorities for Future Research on Reducing and Stopping Psychiatric Medicines (PROTECT) study is being carried out by researchers at Trinity College Dublin.

They said: “There are many unanswered questions about the process of reducing and stopping psychiatric medicines (e.g., antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicines, sleeping tablets) and how best to do it. We think that it is important that future research focuses on the questions that are important to people with lived experience of taking and/or stopping any of these medicines, family members, carers/supporters, and healthcare professionals.”

This study is looking at the following classes of medicines: antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicines, antipsychotics, mood stabilisers, sleeping tablets, stimulants (excluding illegal drugs) and gabapentinoids.

The study involves a number of phases. The researchers said: “In a previous phase we collected questions that family members, friends, carers/supporters, and mental healthcare professionals had about reducing/stopping psychiatric medicines. In this phase you are invited to take part in an anonymous online survey to select the ten questions you think are most important for future research. Similar to the previous phase, we are looking for individuals aged 18 years and older with lived experience of taking/stopping psychiatric medicine, family members, friends, carers/supporters, and mental healthcare professionals.”

The study will involve two anonymous online surveys, followed by a workshop with key stakeholders. It is being organised by Miriam Boland (pharmacist and PhD candidate) at Trinity College Dublin under the supervision of Dr Cathal Cadogan and Prof. Agnes Higgins.

The survey should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Full details about the study and the project team are available from the project website where you can also access the survey using this link: https://tapersafer.org/the-protect-study/how-to-take-part

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