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ThinkNinja for epilepsy

About the study

Healios will be conducting a study to explore whether a mobile application containing an eight-week programme of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective tool to improve the quality of life, mental health and emotional wellbeing of people living with epilepsy.

Please note: the ThinkNinja for epilepsy app is not designed to be a replacement for seeking professional treatment if you have a mental health condition.

Who is eligible for the study?

You can take part if you fulfil all of the following criteria:

You are 18-65 years.

A UK resident and speak English fluently.

Have had an epilepsy diagnosis for a minimum of six months.

Have access to a smartphone (such as an iPhone, Galaxy Samsung), that is running Apple iOS (v12.1 or higher) or Android (Marshmallow or higher) operating systems, and has access to the internet.

What will participants be asked to do?

During the period of the study, you will be asked to complete a series of questionnaires that will collect information about your feelings, mood and how you interact with others. After completing the study, you will be asked some follow up questions and also be invited to take part in a focus group where you will provide feedback on your experience.

When enrolled in the study, you will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. Group one will receive access to the ThinkNinja for epilepsy app straight away. Group two will be asked to start completing questionnaires straight away through our online portal but will need to wait for eight weeks to start the programme on the ThinkNinja for epilepsy app.

All participants in the study will complete the eight-week programme and get full access to the content of the app. Participants will be informed of the results post-study.

ThinkNinja for epilepsy

ThinkNinja for epilepsy is a readily accessible way to work on your mental health and wellbeing. You will work through a programme, over eight weeks which has been developed by trained psychologists all the time being supported by a virtual assistant (Wise Ninja).

The Wise Ninja provides information on staying mentally and emotionally well, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) techniques for dealing with anxiety, stress and low mood and help to monitor and track epileptic seizures, mood and difficult thoughts.

You will also have the opportunity to speak with a member of the Healios clinical team through text chat in the app or via video, for additional support.

What will happen to participants’ epilepsy medication during this study?

Participants should continue to take their epilepsy medication as prescribed by their doctor. They should also maintain any regular doctor visits and check-ups as required for your epilepsy management. Please contact your GP if you have any concerns.

What will participants be asked to do?

During the period of the study, you will be asked to complete a series of questionnaires that will collect information about your feelings, mood and how you interact with others. After completing the study, you will be asked some follow up questions and also be invited to take part in a focus group where you will provide feedback on your experience.

What are the possible benefits?

You will be part of a limited group of people with an epilepsy diagnosis to have first access to try a new intervention in the form of a smartphone app. Your involvement will help us learn more about the way technology can support mental health and emotional wellbeing in people with epilepsy.

Are there any risks?

The therapy services are not designed to be a replacement for seeking professional treatment if you have a diagnosed mental health condition. We recommend that if people interested in the study are experiencing any mental health or emotional difficulties at any time during the project, you should consult professional help immediately.

Intended use

ThinkNinja for Epilepsy is a self-management tool intended to provide mental health support to adults who have been previously diagnosed with epilepsy, through the use of electronically-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques.

ThinkNinja for Epilepsy is an electronic mobile application designed to educate its user through an 8-week course that employs psychological cognitive behavioural techniques and provides them with relaxation tools to independently manage their mental wellbeing and improve their quality of life.

Intended patient population

ThinkNinja for epilepsy is designed for adults (over the age of 18) previously diagnosed with epilepsy. ThinkNinja for epilepsy is intended for use by lay users rather than medical professionals.

Indications for use and contraindications

ThinkNinja for epilepsy is indicated for adults diagnosed with epilepsy who would like to develop skills and techniques related to managing their quality of life, mental health and emotional wellbeing. The app can be used when the individual is feeling stressed, anxious or low.

Note that ThinkNinja for epilepsy is not intended to treat epilepsy nor any underlying condition which might give rise to epilepsy, nor is it intended as a substitute for psychiatric treatment, psychological therapy or medical treatment. Rather, ThinkNinja for epilepsy is only intended to help the patient manage their general psychological well being.

Warnings and precautions

ThinkNinja for epilepsy requires a reasonable command of the English language, an ability to reflect on stressful situations, and the ability to practice stress-management techniques. Consequently it is not intended for use by children, nor those with learning difficulties or severe mental illness. Although such users are unlikely to benefit from use of the app, if they should access it, the content would not present any significant risks to the user as it focuses on techniques to improve wellbeing.

Our partners

We’re delighted to be working with epilepsy charities across the UK to increase awareness of our study. This includes Epilepsy Action, ILAE British Branch, Young Epilepsy, Epilepsy Connections and Epilepsy Society.