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The CO-produced Psychosocial INtervention delivered by GPs to young people after self-harm (COPING): protocol for a feasibility study

Mughal, Faraz; Chew-Graham, Carolyn A.; Saunders, Benjamin; Lawton, Sarah A.; Lewis, Sarah; Smith, Jo; Lancaster, Gillian; Townsend, Ellen; Armitage, Christopher J.; Bower, Peter; Kapur, Nav; Kessler, David; Realpe, Alba X.; Wiles, Nicola; Ougrin, Dennis; Lewis, Martyn


Sarah Lewis

Jo Smith

Gillian Lancaster

Ellen Townsend

Christopher J. Armitage

Peter Bower

Nav Kapur

David Kessler

Alba X. Realpe

Nicola Wiles

Dennis Ougrin


Self-harm in young people is a growing concern and reducing rates a global priority. General practitioners (GPs) can intervene early after self-harm but there are no effective treatments presently available. We developed the GP-led COPING intervention, in partnership with young people with lived experience and GPs, to be delivered to young people 16–25 years across two consultations. This study aims to examine the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a fully powered effectiveness trial of the COPING intervention in NHS general practice.

This will be a mixed-methods external non-randomised before-after single arm feasibility study in NHS general practices in the West Midlands, England. Patients aged 16–25 years who have self-harmed in the last 12 months will be eligible to receive COPING. Feasibility outcomes will be recruitment rates, intervention delivery, retention rates, and completion of follow-up outcome measures. All participants will receive COPING with a target sample of 31 with final follow-up data collection at six months from baseline. Clinical data such as self-harm repetition will be collected. A nested qualitative study and national survey of GPs will explore COPING acceptability, deliverability, implementation, and likelihood of contamination.

Brief GP-led interventions for young people after self-harm are needed and address national guideline and policy recommendations. This study of the COPING intervention will assess whether a main trial is feasible.

ISRCTN (ISRCTN16572400; 28.11.2023).


Mughal, F., Chew-Graham, C. A., Saunders, B., Lawton, S. A., Lewis, S., Smith, J., …Lewis, M. (in press). The CO-produced Psychosocial INtervention delivered by GPs to young people after self-harm (COPING): protocol for a feasibility study. NIHR Open Research, 4(27),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 8, 2024
Online Publication Date May 8, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 13, 2024
Journal NIHR Open Research
Print ISSN 2633-4402
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 27
Public URL
Additional Information Referee status: Awaiting Peer Review; Grant Information: This project is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) under its [‘NIHR Fellowships Programme’ (Grant Reference Number NIHR300957) to Faraz Mughal]. CJA is supported by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and CJA and NK are supported by the NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Research Collaboration (NIHR204295). CCG is funded by the NHS, NIHR or NIHR Applied Research Collaboration, West Midlands. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.; Copyright: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.