Protocol for a partially nested randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the scleroderma patient-centered intervention network COVID-19 home-isolation activities together (SPIN-CHAT) program to reduce anxiety among at-risk scleroderma patients.
Journal of psychosomatic research. 2020;:110132
OBJECTIVE Contagious disease outbreaks and related restrictions can lead to negative psychological outcomes, particularly in vulnerable populations at risk due to pre-existing medical conditions. No randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have tested interventions to reduce mental health consequences of contagious disease outbreaks. The primary objective of the Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network COVID-19 Home-isolation Activities Together (SPIN-CHAT) Trial is to evaluate the effect of a videoconference-based program on symptoms of anxiety. Secondary objectives include evaluating effects on symptoms of depression, stress, loneliness, boredom, physical activity, and social interaction. METHODS The SPIN-CHAT Trial is a pragmatic RCT that will be conducted using the SPIN-COVID-19 Cohort, a sub-cohort of the SPIN Cohort. Eligible participants will be SPIN-COVID-19 Cohort participants without a positive COVID-19 test, with at least mild anxiety (PROMIS Anxiety 4a v1.0 T-score ≥ 55), not working from home, and not receiving current counselling or psychotherapy. We will randomly assign 162 participants to intervention groups of 7 to 10 participants each or waitlist control. We will use a partially nested RCT design to reflect dependence between individuals in training groups but not in the waitlist control. The SPIN-CHAT Program includes activity engagement, education on strategies to support mental health, and mutual participant support. Intervention participants will receive the 4-week (3 sessions per week) SPIN-CHAT Program via videoconference. The primary outcome is PROMIS Anxiety 4a score immediately post-intervention. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION The SPIN-CHAT Trial will test whether a brief videoconference-based intervention will improve mental health outcomes among at-risk individuals during contagious disease outbreak.