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Title: Are there more to visions than meets the eye? : are beliefs about visions, the self and others associated with hallucinatory distress?
Author: Warlow, Selina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 5893
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2015
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Objective: The phenomena of visions (visual hallucinations) are poorly understood due to limited research in this area. This study tested a cognitive model of visions. This proposes that it is the appraisals of the vision and not the presence of a vision itself that leads to distress. The aim of this study was to see whether the appraisals given to visions are a predictor of distress, when controlling for the characteristics and activity of the vision. This study was the first, to our knowledge to explore a wide range of appraisals that might be associated with visions. Design and Analyses: The study adopted a quantitative, cross-sectional design. The hypotheses were tested using multiple regression analysis. Setting: 109 participants were recruited anonymously through international charity networks that support people who experience visions. 66% (n= 72) of the participants were female and 34% (n=37) were male. Measures: The Brief Core Schema Scales, Beliefs About Visions Questionnaire (adapted from the Beliefs About Voices Questionnaires- Revised), Vision Activity and Impact Scale (adapted from the Hamilton Program for Schizophrenia Voices Questionnaire) and the short form Metacognitions Questionnaire were used. Participants also completed the Patient Health Questionnaire, Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment and the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Results: Positive beliefs about self, metacognitive beliefs about uncontrollability and danger and malevolent beliefs were all predictors of distress in people with visions when the characteristics and activity of the vision was controlled for. The study also found that the characteristics and activity of the vision also predicted 40% of the variance in distress associated with visions. Conclusions: The study shows some support for a cognitive model of visions as a number of the appraisals of visions predicted distress when the characteristics and activity of the vision were controlled for. In contrast to the voices literature, characteristics and activity of the vision also accounted for a large proportion of distress from visions. This suggests that the vision characteristics and activity may also play a pivotal role in the distress, associated with visions. Therapeutic interventions targeted at both characteristics, activity and appraisals may reduce distress in people experiencing visions. Keywords: Visual Hallucinations, Hallucinations, Visions, Appraisals, Beliefs, Impact, Distress, Cross- sectional design. This empirical paper is planned for the submission to the British Journal of Clinical Psychology. This is the first journal to publish a study on the appraisals of visions.
Supervisor: Spendelow, Jason; Strauss, Clara; Billings, Joanna Sponsor: NHS
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available