Journal article

The Horyzons project: a randomized controlled trial of a novel online social therapy to maintain treatment effects from specialist first-episode psychosis services

Mario Alvarez-Jimenez, Peter Koval, Lianne Schmaal, Sarah Bendall, Shaunagh O'Sullivan, Daniela Cagliarini, Simon D'Alfonso, Simon Rice, Lee Valentine, David L Penn, Chris Miles, Penni Russon, Jessica Phillips, Carla McEnery, Reeva Lederman, Eoin Killackey, Cathrine Mihalopoulos, Cesar Gonzalez-Blanch, Tamsyn Gilbertson, Shalini Lal Show all

WORLD PSYCHIATRY | WILEY | Published : 2021


This study aimed to determine whether, following two years of specialized support for first-episode psychosis, the addition of a new digital intervention (Horyzons) to treatment as usual (TAU) for 18 months was more effective than 18 months of TAU alone. We conducted a single-blind randomized controlled trial. Participants were people with first-episode psychosis (N=170), aged 16-27 years, in clinical remission and nearing discharge from a specialized service. They were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive Horyzons plus TAU (N=86) or TAU alone (N=84) between October 2013 and January 2017. Horyzons is a novel, comprehensive digital platform merging: peer-to-peer social networking; theory-driven..

View full abstract


Awarded by NHMRC

Funding Acknowledgements

The study was funded by the Mental Illness Research Fund (MIRF, Victorian Government, Australia), the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and the Telstra Foundation. M. Alvarez-Jimenez was supported by an investigator grant (APP1177235) from NHMRC. The authors would like to sincerely thank all the young people who participated in this study for their incredible generosity and for being an inspiration to them.