Background: Compulsory admission to psychiatric hospital is rising despite serious ethical concerns. Among measures to reduce compulsory admissions, Psychiatric Advance Directives (PAD) are the most promising, with intensive PAD (i.e. facilitated and shared) being the most effective. The aim of the study is to experiment Psychiatric Advance Directives in France.
Methods: A multicentre randomized controlled trial and qualitative approach conducted from January 2019 to January 2021 with intent-to-treat analysis.
Setting: Seven hospitals in three French cities: Lyon, Marseille, and Paris. Research assistants meet each participant at baseline, 6 months and 12 months after inclusion for face-to-face interviews.
Participants: 400 persons with a DSM-5 diagnosis of bipolar I disorder (BP1), schizophrenia (SCZ), or schizoaffective disorders (SCZaff), compulsorily admitted to hospital within the last 12 months, with capacity to consent (MacCAT-CR), over 18 years old, and able to understand French.
Interventions: The experimental group (PAD) (expected n = 200) is invited to fill in a document describing their crisis plan and their wishes in case of loss of mental capacity. Participants meet a facilitator, who is a peer support worker specially trained to help them. They are invited to nominate a healthcare agent, and to share the document with them, as well as with their psychiatrist. The Usual Care (UC) group (expected n = 200) receives routine care.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome is the rate of compulsory admissions to hospital during the 12-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes include quality of life (S-QoL18), satisfaction (CSQ8), therapeutic alliance (4-PAS), mental health symptoms (MCSI), awareness of disorders (SUMD), severity of disease (ICG), empowerment (ES), recovery (RAS), and overall costs.
Discussion: Implication of peer support workers in PAD, potential barriers of supported-decision making, methodological issues of evaluating complex interventions, evidence-based policy making, and the importance of qualitative evaluation in the context of constraint are discussed.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03630822. Registered 14th August 2018.