Sleep problems are common in people with diagnoses of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (> 50%), even during periods of relative stability of psychotic symptoms. Evidence suggests that people living with schizophrenia spectrum disorders are often keen to improve their sleep, but few non-pharmacological sleep treatments are available to patients in specialist mental health services. It has been proposed that occupational therapists may have the relevant skills for the delivery of behavioural sleep interventions. This mixed method, proof-of-concept study aims to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a new intervention, Light-Dark and Activity Rhythm Therapy (L-DART), to improve sleep in people with schizophrenia spectrum disorder diagnoses.MethodsA single group of 10 service users with schizophrenia spectrum diagnoses and self-reported problems with sleep onset, maintenance, timing or quality will be offered L-DART. L-DART will be delivered over 6–9 in person sessions and 3–6 phonecalls by an occupational therapist. Feasibility measures will comprise recruitment and retention logs, fidelity based on session records, adverse effects, and study attrition. Intervention uptake, engagement and adherence will be measured, and barriers to adherence explored. Acceptability will be assessed though quantitative satisfaction ratings and qualitative interviews. Activity patterns and dynamic light exposure will be measured, as well as self-reported sleep, wellbeing and functioning, to inform outcome selection in a larger trial.DiscussionThe findings will inform any necessary modifications to the intervention and its materials, enabling the development of a stage 2 manual and a therapist training package. The results will support the design of a randomised multi-therapist feasibility trial.Trial registrationISRCTN11998005

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Journal: Research Square; 2021

Keywords: Light-Dark and Activity Rhythm Therapy, mental health, psychotic symptoms, schizophrenia, Sleep,

Applications: Sleep,

CamNtech Reference: M21037

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