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Findings

What is a recovery narrative?

We conducted a systematic review and narrative synthesis to develop a conceptual framework characterising recovery narratives here which was based on a pre-registered review protocol here. The conceptual framework was validated in interviews with people from under-researched groups here, and then used to create the INCRESE instrument to characterise recovery narratives here which is free to download here. The Dutch translation of INCRESE is evaluated here. We have explored issues of power in how people tell their story here and here.

Impact of recovery narratives

We conducted a systematic review and narrative synthesis to develop an impact framework describing the impact of recovery narratives on recipients here, based on a pre-registered review protocol here. The impact framework was developed into a change model through interviews with people from under-researched groups here, and a causal change model for impact through connection was then experimentally developed here. Predictors of impact, including ethnicity and stage of recovery, were identified using experimental and clinical groups here.

Curation of recovery narrative collections

We conducted a systematic review and qualitative synthesis to develop a curation framework capturing decisions involved in curating recovery narratives here, based on a pre-registered review protocol here. A consultation with 30 curators from 7 countries was used to developed the VOICES typology for curatorial decisions here and to investigate the relationship between curator goals and curatorial practices here. We published a systematic review of content and trigger warnings here, based on a pre-registered review protocol here. We also published a systematic review of uses and misuses of recorded mental health lived experience narratives here, based on a pre-registered protocol here. We evaluated approaches to assessing diversity in a narrative collection here. Our learning has been brought together in a good practice guidelines booklet here.

Learning from recovery narratives

We explored the design features of the CHIME Framework which increase its use here. We developed a conceptual framework for post-traumatic growth in the context of recovery for people with severe mental health problems through interviews with people from under-researched groups here. This informed a systematic review of mechanisms of action supporting post-traumatic growth here, based on a pre-registered review protocol here. We investigated the narratives of people with psychosis-like experiences who do not use mental health services here. We investigated experiences of institutional injustice here. We also explored staff views about using recorded recovery narratives in clinical practice here.

NEON randomised controlled trials

All the above work was integrated to develop the NEON Intervention here. Our approach to content warnings was informed by a systematic review here based on a pre-registered review protocol here. The intervention was evaluated in three randomised controlled trials in England from 2020 to 2022, based on the published trial protocol here with amendments to the NEON-O trial protocol here. We published principles for all our trial recruitment materials here, and a scoping review of adverse event reporting in digital mental health interventions here. The cost of the NEON Intervention was established here and baseline characteristics of participants who have and have not used mental health services were compared here. The trial was analysed using a pre-published statistical analysis plan here. We investigated how people used the NEON Intervention here, and how the recommender system NarraGive performed here.

The NEON Trial for people with psychosis is in submission.

The NEON-O Trial for people with non-psychosis mental health problems involved 1,023 people from across England, and found that the NEON Intervention was both effective, leading to higher quality of life and improved meaning in life, and cost-effective, especially for people currently using mental health services here.

The NEON-C Trial involved 54 informal carers of people with mental health problems, and established that the NEON Intervention is acceptable and feasible for people providing informal support to others here.