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Title: Hearing voices : an exploration of beliefs, coping strategies and emotional well-being in those who find the experience distressing
Author: Delahunty, J. Tim
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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The experience of hearing voices is often distressing and it is known that the beliefs that an individual has about that experience, particularly the belief that a voice is extremely powerful or omnipotent is associated with higher depressive symptomatology (Chadwick & Birchwood, 1996). Chadwick et al (2000) demonstrated that these beliefs were modifiable in a group intervention but they did not find an associated decrease in measures of anxiety and depression. It has also been proposed that coping strategies only become understandable when they are connected to an individuals beliefs about their voices (Chadwick, Birchwood & Trower, 1996). Previous research into the coping strategies of voice hearers, however, has rarely utilised standardised coping assessments, but has rather relieved upon open-ended questioning and post-hoc categorisation. The hypotheses of this study were that the emotionally distressing experience of hearing voices would be associated with an increased strength of beliefs about the voice, and avoidance coping strategies. Of particular interest was the strength of belief of control an individual perceived they had over their voice, as this had not been explored in previous studies and that in line with the concept of learned helpless a perceived lack of control would be indicative of anxiety and depression in this population. It was also postulated that the choice of coping strategy would reflect the individuals belief system, and again particularly he control they perceive themselves to have. Twenty-eight volunteers were approached by a third party who had identified them as currently hearing voices and finding that experience distressing. In a semi-structured interview they were asked to complete the following measures: The Topography of Voices Scale, A visual analogue scale measuring strength of conviction of beliefs about voices, The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and The Coping Responses Inventory (adapted). Results will be given and conclusions discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available