B4509 - Investigating the association between romantic relationships and experiences of psychosis over time - 15/01/2024

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Rebecca White | University of Manchester (UK)
Prof Gillian Haddock, Prof Richard Drake , Prof Filippo Varese , Stefan Cazacu
Title of project: 
Investigating the association between romantic relationships and experiences of psychosis over time
Proposal summary: 

Psychosis refers to the experience of hallucinations and/or delusions. Psychotic experiences range from short-lived symptoms that are not fully believed through to persistent severe symptoms that characterise psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. Compared to the general population, the prevalence of romantic relationships in people who experience psychosis is low. This is problematic. Firstly, because people with psychosis, like members of the general population, see romantic relationships as being a fundamental aspect of life and often report being dissatisfied with their intimate relationships. Secondly, because there is some evidence to suggest that having a partner is associated with reduced symptoms for people who experience psychosis, especially for those under 35 years old.

Unfortunately, much of the available literature is limited and as a result, the direction of influence between romantic relationships and psychosis remains unclear. This project aims to use data collected at various timepoints to better understand whether being without a partner increases vulnerability to developing psychosis / contributes to the maintenance of symptoms, or if those who experience fewer symptoms are simply more able to form romantic relationships.

Impact of research: 
The evidence gained from this project will provide clinically important novel insights into the relationship between psychosis and romantic relationships. The findings of this project will provide an understanding about the role social and in particular, romantic relationships play in the development of psychosis and physical health difficulties. The findings may provide an incentive for services to review their approach to and provision of support around romantic relationships. We hope this project will result in highly cited academic publications as well as translational impact on clinical practice.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 8 January, 2024
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 15 January, 2024
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, psychosis, romantic relationships