SCEPTRE stands for Promoting Smoking CEssation and PrevenTing RElapse to tobacco use following a smokefree mental health in-patient stay. It is a 6-year programme of mixed-methods research, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR PGfAR). The multi-disciplinary research team is led by Dr Elena Ratschen at the University of York and consists of leading academics in the field, experienced mental health clinicians, and experts by experience. SCEPTRE is hosted by Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC).
People with severe mental illness (e.g.schizophrenia) are more likely to smoke tobacco and are usually more heavily addicted than people without a mental illness. Smoking is recognised as the largest cause of health inequalities and causes up to 20 years of loss in life expectancy in this group. Many smokers with mental illness want to quit smoking and can do so with the right support, just as other smokers can. However, smokers with mental illness have historically not been as well supported to quit as others, and smoking has been deeply embedded in the culture of many mental health settings.
In line with guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), mental health settings are now smokefree. All mental health Trusts will provide evidence-based treatment and support to help smokers abstain (or quit completely, if they so wish). However, at the moment, no strategies to help smokers maintain or achieve a smokefree lifestyle and avoid relapse after discharge exist. As a result, most will return to their old smoking behaviours within days of leaving hospital. This is a big problem that needs to be addressed!
The SCEPTRE programme began in February 2020 and will complete six projects over six years. It aims to develop and test a bespoke support package that will assist people with severe mental illness to become or stay smokefree after discharge from a mental health in-patient stay.
What kinds of support for people with severe mental illness to change their smoking behaviour are available, and do they work?
Co-designing a package of support based on what works
Testing the package and procedures and finding out what needs to change
Testing the effectiveness of the SCEPTRE package compared to usual care
Is the SCEPTRE package effective and value for money?
Bringing together our findings and making final changes to the SCEPTRE package of support
We want to be able let people know how the SCEPTRE programme is going and to share our findings. There are a number of ways you can find out more: