MIDSHIPS: Multicentre Intervention Designed for Self-Harm using Interpersonal Problem Solving: A feasibility study


Around 150,000 people each year attend hospitals in England due to self-harm, many of them more than once. Over 5,000 people die by suicide each year in the UK, a quarter of them having attended hospital in the previous year because of self-harm. Self-harm is a major identifiable risk factor for suicide. People receive variable care at hospital; many are not assessed for their psychological needs and little psychological therapy is offered. Despite its frequent occurrence, we have no clear research evidence about how to reduce the repetition of self-harm. Some people who have self-harmed show less active ways of solving problems, and brief problem-solving therapies are considered the most promising psychological treatments.

The MIDSHIPS feasibility study replicates the design of the proposed main trial in order to assess the feasibility of implementation and establish the best method for therapeutic delivery of the problem solving therapy. It will also inform the sample size calculation for the main trial. It is an individually randomised control trial (RCT) exploring the practicability of implementing a large scale RCT of interpersonal problem-solving therapy (PST) plus treatment-as-usual (TAU) compared with TAU alone, for adults who attend hospital due to self-harm.

Patient reported outcome data, event rate data (i.e. repetition of self-harm), recruitment rates, and detail regarding appropriate data collection methods and therapeutic delivery will be used to inform the design of the definitive, multicentre RCT.

Publications and outputs

Collinson M, Owens D, Blenkiron P, Burton K, Graham L, Hatcher S, House A, Martin K, Pembroke L, Protheroe D, Tubeuf S, Farrin A. MIDSHIPS: Multicentre Intervention Designed for Self-Harm using Interpersonal Problem-Solving: protocol for a randomised controlled feasibility study. Trials (2014) 15: 163.