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Title: Group psychological treatment for young people with distressing auditory hallucinations
Author: Newton, Elizabeth Kate
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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For a significant proportion of people who develop schizophrenia, onset occurs during adolescence. This group tends to suffer from a more chronic course of illness with less favourable outcomes than those whose onset occurs during adulthood. The experience of auditory hallucinations is the most common and distressing symptom experienced by people suffering from schizophrenia. It has been suggested that auditory hallucinations may be most frightening and difficult to cope with shortly after their onset. However, this may also be the period in which auditory hallucinations will be most responsive to psychological treatment. Recent efficacy studies of group psychological therapy for voices have found significant reductions in symptoms and distress, and increases in coping. This study investigates the efficacy of group psychological therapy for young people (15 to 21 years) suffering from distressing auditory hallucinations and explores their experiences of receiving treatment. It uses a mixed-method approach. Changes in symptoms over a six-week waiting period, treatment and follow-up period were investigated using structured interview schedules and self-rating questionnaires. In addition, a sub-set of participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule to collect detailed verbal accounts of their experiences of the therapy group in which they had participated. Significant reductions in auditory hallucinations and significant increases in coping and activity level were found following treatment. The qualitative data supported the quantitative findings; the benefits of the treatment group were clearly articulated by those who attended. These findings are consistent with the literature that suggest that psychological therapies should be an integral part of treatment for young people with psychosis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available