Background: Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are severe mental illnesses that can have a significant disabling impact on the lives of people. Psychosocial interventions that stress hope and recovery as a part of a multi-dimensional approach are possibly indicated to support people with severe mental illness in facilitating recovery. Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) is a curriculum-based psychosocial intervention designed as structured program with a recovery-oriented approach. The aim of IMR is to rehabilitate people with severe mental illnesses by helping them acquire knowledge and skills in managing their illness and achieve personal recovery goals. Previous randomised clinical trials indicate that IMR can be implemented with a good effect and a high fidelity though further trials are crucial to demonstrate the potential effectiveness of IMR.
Methods/design: The trial design is a randomised, assessor-blinded, multi-centre, clinical trial of the IMR program compared with treatment as usual for 200 participants diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder under the care of two community mental health centres in the Capital Region of Denmark. The primary outcome is level of functioning at the end of treatment. The secondary outcomes are disease symptoms; use of alcohol/drugs; individual meaning of recovery; hope; hospital admissions and out-patient psychiatric treatment at the end of treatment and the abovementioned and level of functioning at follow-up 21 months after baseline.
Discussion: If the results of this trial show IMR to be effective these positive results will strengthen the evidence of IMR as an effective comprehensive psychosocial intervention with a recovery-oriented approach for people with severe mental illness. This will have significant implications for the treatment and recovery of people with severe mental illness.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01361698.