Background: The Relatives Education And Coping Toolkit (REACT) is an online supported self-management toolkit for relatives of people with psychosis or bipolar designed to improve access to NICE recommended information and emotional support. Aims: Our aim was to determine clinical and cost-effectiveness of REACT including a Resource Directory (RD), versus RD-only. Methods: A primarily online, observer-blind randomised controlled trial comparing REACT (including RD) with RD only (registration ISRCTN72019945). Participants were UK relatives aged > = 16, with high distress (assessed using the GHQ-28), and actively help-seeking, individually randomised, and assessed online. Primary outcome was relatives' distress (GHQ-28) at 24 weeks. Secondary outcomes were wellbeing, support, costs and user feedback. Results: We recruited 800 relatives (REACT = 399; RD only = 401) with high distress at baseline (GHQ-28 REACT mean 40.3, SD 14.6; RD only mean 40.0, SD 14.0). Median time spent online on REACT was 50.8 min (IQR 12.4-172.1) versus 0.5 min (IQR 0-1.6) on RD only. Retention to primary follow-up (24 weeks) was 75% (REACT n = 292 (73.2%); RD-only n = 307 (76.6%)). Distress decreased in both groups by 24 weeks, with no significant difference between the two groups (- 1.39, 95% CI -3.60, 0.83, p = 0.22). Estimated cost of delivering REACT was £62.27 per person and users reported finding it safe, acceptable and convenient. There were no adverse events or reported side effects. Conclusions: REACT is an inexpensive, acceptable, and safe way to deliver NICE-recommended support for relatives. However, for highly distressed relatives it is no more effective in reducing distress (GHQ-28) than a comprehensive online resource directory. Trial registration: ISRCTN72019945 prospectively registered 19/11/2015.
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- Digital health intervention
- Randomised controlled trial