The VIP trial: a randomised controlled trial of the clinical and cost effectiveness of a Victim Improvement Package (VIP) for the reduction of chronic symptoms of depression or anxiety in older victims of common crime

Record ID 32016001077
Authors' objectives: The VIP (Victim Improvement Package) study assesses how different agencies, working together, can help older victims of crime by preventing distressing psychological symptoms from continuing. Background: Common crime may affect victims deeply, in some triggering mental illness. Social and physical problems associated with old age increase vulnerability. Furthermore, older victims are twice as likely to die or require residential care, than non-victimised people of the same age. Since 85% of depressed older people do not receive any specific treatment, this lack of care is also likely to apply to older victims. Metropolitan Police reports suggest that over 26,000 common crimes were committed against older people in 7 London boroughs between 2009-10. Previous work: in our Helping Aged Victims of Crime (HAVoC) study, 581 older victims responded to a written survey within a month of a crime. We also asked officers from Metropolitan Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) to approach victims face to face; over 90% of victims agreed to answer questions about psychological distress. At 3 months after the crime, 65% reported their daily life continued to be affected, 27% were psychologically distressed and of these, almost 50% had a psychiatric illness which they felt was caused by the crime. Of these, 26 agreed to be allocated, by a process called randomisation (which is necessary to balance out other factors that may influence people's response to treatment) to one of 2 intervention; Treatment as Usual (TAU) or TAU plus a therapist s guide called the VIP (Victim Improvement Package). The VIP appears to reduce distress, but requires fuller evaluation. Proposed methods: (from HAVoC). Step 1: SNTs will identify older victims within a month of a crime and assess distress with 4 questions used by GPs. Distressed victims will be given written advice for their GP. Step 2: at 3 months, we will enquire whether they acted on the advice (some in detail) and reassess people to confirm depression and/or anxiety required and whether they would agree to step 3. Step 3: we will collect information on age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, previous occupation, level of education, and past illnesses (which may influence recovery), the crime, social support and what treatment they would like prior to randomising to: 1. TAU: usually GP support, voluntary sector help and (rarely) specialised psychological treatments or 2. TAU plus the VIP: up to 10 weekly sessions, over 3 months, given by a therapist from Mind. Outcomes: two scales of severity, the Beck Depression-II and Beck Anxiety Inventories, will be used together to compare changes in depression and/or anxiety. We will collect information on: quality of life; the use of health and social services. We will record who drops out and, if possible, why. Measures taken 3 months after the crime (just prior to the intervention) will be compared with the same measures collected at 6 months after the crime (after the intervention) and at 9 months after the crime (followup). Impact:The public health benefits are (i) to ensure successful identification of psychologically distressed older victims (ii) to improve psychological care for older people. (iii) if effective, to improve public health by rolling out the VIP nationally to reduce the continuation of symptoms.
Project Status: Ongoing
Anticipated Publish Date: 2021
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Aged
  • Anxiety
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Social Support
  • Depression
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Crime Victims
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Organisation Name: NIHR Public Health Research programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
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