DFEND study

The DFEND study aims to explore if the addition of a vitamin D supplement to standard treatments (which may include medications, general support and talking therapies) can help people recover after having their first episode of a psychotic disorder.

To do this, we will compare a group of people who are receiving a vitamin D supplement as well as their standard treatment versus those who receive a dummy medication which contains no vitamin D (placebo), plus standard treatment alone.


We are looking for participants who fulfil the following criteria:

  • Aged between 18 and 65
  • Experienced their first episode of psychosis in the past 3 years
  • Willing to give a blood sample

The exclusion criteria are:

  • Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy
  • People who are allergic to Vitamin D
  • Those who are currently taking Vitamin D supplements over the limit of 400IU/day.

Participants in the trial would be visited by a researcher once a month for 6 months to give them the vitamin D/placebo and to complete some questionnaires. The visits usually take 15-20 minutes except at baseline, month 3 and month 6, where there are additional questionnaires and bloods are taken.

The longer visits take approximately one hour each. £40 in total is given to participants throughout the duration of the trial to thank them for their time.

For further information, please contact:

Hannah Herlihy – Clinical Research Coordinator
Tel: 07880294404
Email: Hannah.Herlihy@nhs.net

You click her to complete our online form