SCIMITAR+ study achieves target recruitment ahead of schedule @MHARG_york #CLAHRCimpact #physicalhealth_smi @simongilbody

SCIMITAR+ study achieves target recruitment ahead of schedule

The SCIMITAR+ trial led by the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group and the York Trials Unit is a study aimed at enabling people with serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder to give up smoking.  People with severe mental ill health (SMI) are three to four times more likely to smoke than people in the general population and smoking contributes to poor health, poverty and early death in this group. Smoking therefore makes a significant contribution to this health inequality. A bespoke smoking cessation intervention (BSC) to help people with SMI cut down or quit smoking has therefore been developed. In the SCIMITAR+ trial we will examine whether the BSC intervention works better than existing smoking cessation services for patients with SMI and will compare the cost of the BSC intervention with usual care.

The SCIMITAR+ trial began recruitment in October 2015 and aimed to recruit 400 people with SMI by the end of March 2017. Despite this trial being conducted in a hard to reach group the SCIMITAR+ team, with the help of their collaborating NHS sites across the country, successfully recruited the 400 participants ahead of time in October 2016.


Dr Emily Peckham  who manages the SCIMITAR+ trial commented ‘this was a very challenging trial, but it will answer an important question about how best to ensure people with SMI should be offered help to quit smoking.  We have benefited from excellent collaborators in the NHS and we needed to work with 22 NHS trusts to make this happen‘.

Prof Simon Gilbody who is PI for the trial added ‘to have reached our recruitment target is a significant milestone.  this is a really important study which is now the largest ever trial done in this area  we are delighted to work with our colleagues in YTU.  This is what York does best.


More information on the Scimitar + study can be found here 

More information about the NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber, Mental Health and Comorbidity Theme can be found here


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