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Title: The impact of absorption on common mental health problems and auditory hallucinations
Author: Aspinall, Charlotte
ISNI:       0000 0004 9354 1446
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2019
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Paper 1 presents a systematic review on the evidence for the relationship between absorption and common mental health difficulties. A literature search was completed to identify empirical papers using the following electronic data bases: PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL and Web of Science. Twenty papers were identified that satisfied inclusion criteria for the review. Evidence supported a relationship between absorption and common mental health difficulties, suggesting absorption is a clinically relevant form of dissociation. Absorption was more strongly related to anxiety experiences across all anxiety disorders, which may potentially be due to a reduction in metacognitive awareness when absorbed. Paper 2 presents an experimental study investigating if state absorption has a causal impact on voice hearing. To explore this, we tested whether non-clinical, hallucination-prone individuals exposed to an absorption manipulation (n = 36) exhibited a significantly greater increase in auditory false alarms during a laboratory voice hearing task than a comparable group exposed to a relaxation control manipulation (n = 37). The absorption and relaxation conditions showed no increase in false alarms following manipulation. There was no significant difference in false alarm rates between participants in the absorption condition compared to the relaxation condition, when controlling for false alarms pre-manipulation. There was also no significant relationship between change in state absorption and change in false alarms from pre- to post-manipulation. This study indicates that absorption does not have a strong effect on voice hearing, however should be interpreted with caution due to limitations in the design and effect of manipulations. Paper 3 provides a critical appraisal of the systematic review, the empirical paper and the research process as a whole. Strengths and limitations of the presented research are discussed as well as future clinical and research implications.
Supervisor: Brown, Richard ; Varese, Filippo Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available