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Brain in Hand research team wins ‘Psychiatric Team of the Year: Digital Mental Health’ at the RCPsych Awards 2023

Critical research into digital support for autistic adults wins inaugural Digital Team of the Year award from Royal College of Psychiatrists

The team behind a first-of-its-kind clinical study into Brain in Hand, the digital healthcare system focused on supported self-management, has won the Psychiatric Team of the Year: Digital Mental Health award at this year’s Royal College of Psychiatrists’ RCPsych Awards.

Led by Cornwall NHS Foundation Trust, the Brain in Hand research team carried out a multi-site mixed study of the impact of the self-support system, which combines personalised digital tools with on-demand human support and coaching.

The study found that over 12 weeks, Brain in Hand significantly reduced anxiety, self-injurious behaviour, and memory and orientation problems. These results are invaluable evidence for the positive psychological outcomes that can be achieved through providing digital support to autistic adults and those on the waiting list for an assessment.

The judges chose the Brain in Hand research team as the winner of the award for conducting critical research on a digital system designed to support autistic people to manage their anxiety and improve their quality of life. According to the award’s judges, this research—carried out within the NHS in a collaborative working partnership with academia and industry—helps pave the way for digital innovations to deliver at pace and scale, supporting a future in which technology is used to its fullest potential in the healthcare sector.

Dr Louise Morpeth, CEO of Brain in Hand, commented, “The research conducted by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has proven just how crucial digital support can be for the autistic community. It is an honour to be recognised for our work on this and a real sign that we’re heading in the right direction as we continue our efforts to transform support. It was also brilliant to see that the judges singled out the way autistic people were valued as partners in co-designing the study because we think that’s the best way to ensure what we’re doing really works for them.”

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