[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) have shown the efficacy of CBTp, however few studies have considered its long-term effectiveness in routine services. This study reports the outcomes of clients seen in a psychological therapies clinic, set up following positive results obtained from an RCT (Peters et al. 2010). The aims were to evaluate the effectiveness of CBTp, using data from the service’s routine assessments for consecutive referrals over a 12 year period, and assess whether gains were maintained at a 6+ months’ follow-up. Of the 476 consenting referrals, all clients (N=358) who received ≥5 therapy sessions were offered an assessment at 4 time points (baseline, pre-, mid- and end of therapy) on measures assessing current psychosis symptoms, emotional problems, general well-being and life satisfaction. A sub-set (N=113) was assessed at a median of 12 months after finishing therapy. Following the waiting list (median of 3 months) clients received individualised, formulation-based CBTp for a median number of 19 sessions from 121 therapists with a range of experience receiving regular supervision. Clients showed no meaningful change on any measure while on the waiting list (Cohen’s d
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Frontiers in Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To examine the prevalence of nightmares in people with psychosis and to describe the link between nightmares and sleep quality, psychotic, affective, and cognitive symptoms.
Forty participants with psychotic symptoms completed an assessment of nightmares, sleep quality, positive symptoms of psychosis, affect, posttraumatic stress, social functioning, and working memory.
Among the patients, 55% reported weekly distressing nightmares. Experience of more frequent nightmares was related to poorer sleep quality and sleep efficiency. More distressing nightmares were positively associated with greater delusional severity, depression, anxiety, stress, and difficulties with working memory.
Nightmares might be common in those with psychosis and are associated with increased day- and nighttime impairment. Future research should investigate treatments for nightmares, for people presenting with psychotic symptoms.
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: Schizotypy relates to rejection sensitivity (anxiety reflecting an expectancy of social exclusion) and neuroticism (excessive evaluation of negative emotions). Positive schizotypy (e.g. perceptual aberrations and odd beliefs) and negative schizotypy (e.g. social and physical anhedonia) could relate to altered attention to rejection because of neuroticism.
Methods: Forty-one healthy individuals were assessed on positive and negative schizotypy and neuroticism, and event-related potentials during rejecting, accepting and neutral scenes. Participants were categorized into high, moderate and low neuroticism groups. Using temporo-spatial principal components analysis, P200 (peak latency=290 ms) and P300 amplitudes (peak latency=390 ms) were measured, reflecting mobilization of attention and early attention respectively.
Results: Scalp-level and cortical source analyses revealed elevated fronto-parietal N300/P300 amplitude and P200-related dorsal anterior cingulate current density during rejection than acceptance/neutral scenes. Positive schizotypy related inversely to parietal P200 amplitude during rejection. Negative schizotypy related positively to P200 middle occipital current density. Negative schizotypy related positively to parietal P300, where the association was stronger in high and moderate, than low, neuroticism groups.
Conclusions: Positive and negative schizotypy relate divergently to attention to rejection. Positive schizotypy attenuates, but negative schizotypy increases rejection-related mobilization of attention. Negative schizotypy increases early attention to rejection partly due to elevated neuroticism.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous research has indicated that nightmares might be a common problem for people with psychotic symptoms. Furthermore, more distressing nightmares have been associated with higher levels of delusional severity, depression, anxiety, stress and working memory. However no known research has investigated the use of nightmare treatments in those with symptoms of psychosis. This study aimed to assess the acceptability and feasibility of using imagery rehearsal (IR) therapy as a treatment of nightmares for those presenting with co-morbid psychotic symptoms. Six participants presenting with frequent distressing nightmares and psychotic symptoms were recruited. Five participants attended 4–6 sessions of IR. Measures of nightmares, sleep quality, psychotic and affective symptoms were completed at baseline and immediately following the intervention. It was feasible to adapt IR for those experiencing psychotic symptoms. Descriptive improvements were noted on measures of nightmare-related distress, vividness and intensity. Positive post-session feedback endorsed the acceptability of IR. Nightmare frequency did not reduce following IR; however, participants described a change in emotional response. IR was an acceptable and feasible intervention for this small sample. A larger study powered to detect group changes, with an additional control is warranted to test the efficacy of the intervention for those with psychosis.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Attachment theory proposes that psychological functioning and affect regulations are influenced by the attachment we form with others. Early relationships with parents or caregivers lay the foundations for attachment styles. These styles are proposed to influence how we relate to others during our life can be modified by the relationships and events we experience in our lifespan. A secure attachment style is associated with a capacity to manage distress, comfort with autonomy and the ability to form relationships with others, whereas insecure attachment can lead to dysfunctional relationships, emotional and behaviour avoidance. Attachment theory provides a useful framework to inform our understanding of relationship difficulties in people with psychosis. This paper aims to complement recent systematic reviews by providing an overview of attachment theory, its application to psychosis, including an understanding of measurement issues and the clinical implications offered. Method. A narrative review was completed of the measures of attachment and parental bonding in psychosis. Its clinical implications are also discussed. The paper also explores the link between insecure attachment styles and illness course, social functioning and symptomatology. The following questions are addressed: What are the key attachment measures that have been used within the attachment and psychosis literature? What are the results of studies that have measured attachment or parental bonding in psychosis and what clinical implications can we derive from it? What are some of the key questions for future research from these findings in relation to the onset of psychosis research field? Results. The most commonly used measures of attachment in psychosis research are reviewed. Self-report questionnaires and semi-structured interviews have mainly been used to examine attachment styles in adult samples and in recent years comprise a measure specifically developed for a psychosis group. The review suggests that insecure attachment styles are common in psychosis samples. Key relationships were observed between insecure, avoidant and anxious attachment styles and psychosis development, expression and long-term outcome. Conclusions. Attachment theory can provide a useful framework to facilitate our understanding of interpersonal difficulties in psychosis that may predate its onset and impact on observed variability in outcomes, including treatment engagement. Greater attention should be given to the assessment of attachment needs and to the development of interventions that seek to compensate for these difficulties. However, further investigations are required on specifying the exact mechanisms by which specific attachment styles impact on the development of psychosis and its course.
No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High expressed emotion (EE) is a robust predictor of elevated rates of relapse and readmission in schizophrenia. However, far less is known about how high EE leads to poorer patient outcomes. This study was designed to examine links between high EE (criticism), affect, and multidimensional aspects of positive symptoms in patients with psychosis. Thirty-eight individuals with nonaffective psychosis were randomly exposed to proxy high-EE or neutral speech samples and completed self-report measures of affect and psychosis symptoms. Patients reported significant increases in anxiety, anger, and distress after exposure to the proxy high-EE speech sample as well as increases in their appraisals of psychosis symptoms: voice controllability, delusional preoccupation, and conviction. These findings offer further evidence of the potential deleterious impact of a negative interpersonal environment on patient symptoms in psychosis.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Caregivers play an important role in the treatment and recovery of people with psychosis but they have different needs from service users and can experience significant distress as part of their role. Responding to caregiver needs is not readily identified as being the primary responsibility of clinical services that have limited resources. A small pilot study sought to evaluate the effect and acceptability of providing a brief, needs-led intervention to long-term caregivers of service users with psychosis. A two or three session, interactive and structured intervention, adapted from family work with psychosis, focused on facilitated carer access to reliable information about psychosis, goal setting and adaptive problem-solving. Measures of affect, coping and care-giving impact were completed at baseline and post-intervention. Data for the first four caregivers who attended individual sessions are presented. Post-intervention scores indicate reductions in levels of carer distress and depressive symptoms. Caregivers reported high levels of acceptability and satisfaction. Further studies are required to evaluate the impact of such interventions on a larger number and wider range of caregivers.Practitioner pointsTo date, it has proved difficult for clinical services to meet the needs of caregivers of service users with psychosis.The caregivers of service users with psychosis have readily identifiable needs that can be met with a brief, structured, individualized and interactive intervention.Offering a time-limited intervention to carers who would like support with their role has benefits for both the caregivers and the service.
No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Family Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigates potential explanations of the association between caring and common mental disorder, using the English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. We examined whether carers are more exposed to other stressors additional to caring – such as domestic violence and debt – and if so whether this explains their elevated rates of mental disorder. We analysed differences between carers and non-carers in common mental disorders (CMD), suicidal thoughts, suicidal attempts, recent stressors, social support, and social participation. We used multivariate models to investigate whether differences between carers and non-carers in identifiable stressors and supports explained the association between caring and CMD, as measured by the revised Clinical Interview Schedule.
The prevalence of CMD (OR = 1.64 95% CI 1.37–1.97), suicidal thoughts in the last week (OR = 2.71 95% CI 1.31–5.62) and fatigue (OR = 1.33 95% CI 1.14–1.54) was increased in carers. However, caring remained independently associated with CMD (OR = 1.58 1.30–1.91) after adjustment for other stressors and social support. Thus caring itself is associated with increased risk of CMD that is not explained by other identified social stressors. Carers should be recognized as being at increased risk of CMD independent of the other life stressors they have to deal with. Interventions aimed at a direct reduction of the stressfulness of caring are indicated. However, carers also reported higher rates of debt problems and domestic violence and perceived social support was slightly lower in carers than in non-carers. So carers are also more likely to experience stressors other than caring and it is likely that they will need support not only aimed at their caring role, but also at other aspects of their lives.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Social Science & Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Caregivers make a significant and growing contribution to the social and medical care of people with long-standing disorders. The effective provision of this care is dependent on their own continuing health. Aims To investigate the relationship between weekly time spent caregiving and psychiatric and physical morbidity in a representative sample of the population of England. Method Primary outcome measures were obtained from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. Self-report measures of mental and physical health were used, along with total symptom scores for common mental disorder derived from the Clinical Interview Schedule - Revised. Results In total, 25% (n = 1883) of the sample identified themselves as caregivers. They had poorer mental health and higher psychiatric symptom scores than non-caregivers. There was an observable decline in mental health above 10 h per week. A twofold increase in psychiatric symptom scores in the clinical range was recorded in those providing care for more than 20 h per week. In adjusted analyses, there was no excess of physical disorders in caregivers. Conclusions We found strong evidence that caregiving affects the mental health of caregivers. Distress frequently reaches clinical thresholds, particularly in those providing most care. Strategies for maintaining the mental health of caregivers are needed, particularly as demographic changes are set to increase involvement in caregiving roles.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social anxiety due to rejection sensitivity (RS) exacerbates psychosis-like experiences in the general population. While reduced dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) activity during social rejection in high schizotypy has suggested self-distancing from rejection, earlier stages of mental processing such as feature encoding could also contribute to psychosis-like experiences. This study aimed to determine the stage of mental processing of social rejection that relates to positive schizotypy. Forty-one healthy participants were assessed for schizotypy and RS. Event-related potential amplitudes (ERPs) were measured at frontal, temporal and parieto-occipital sites and their cortical sources (dACC, temporal pole and lingual gyrus) at early (N100) and late (P300 and late slow wave, LSW) timeframes during rejection, acceptance and neutral scenes. ERPs were compared between social interaction types. Correlations were performed between positive schizotypy (defined as the presence of perceptual aberrations, hallucinatory experiences and magical thinking), RS and ERPs during rejection. Amplitude was greater during rejection than acceptance or neutral conditions at the dACC-P300, parieto-occipital-P300, dACC-LSW and frontal-LSW. RS correlated positively with positive schizotypy. Reduced dACC N100 activity during rejection correlated with greater positive schizotypy and RS. Reduced dACC N100 activity and greater RS independently predicted positive schizotypy. An N100 deficit that indicates reduced feature encoding of rejection scenes increases with greater positive schizotypy and RS. Higher RS shows that a greater tendency to misattribute ambiguous social situations as rejecting also increases with positive schizotypy. These two processes, namely primary bottom-up sensory processing and secondary misattribution of rejection, combine to increase psychosis-like experiences.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Aggressive behaviour in psychosis is not uncommon. Community provision for people with psychosis has left informal caregivers to take on a greater role in their care. However, few studies have explored links between patient-initiated violence in mental health caregiving relationships and caregiver functioning. Our study investigated caregiver reports of aggressive acts committed by their relative with psychosis and their links to caregiver appraisals of the caregiving relationship and caregiver outcomes.
Caregivers of patients with a recent relapse of psychosis, recruited to a psychological therapy trial, completed the audiotaped Camberwell Family Interview at baseline. This semi-structured interview includes questions on the quality of the relationship between caregiver and patient, and patient history of violence. Seventy-two transcripts of interviews were assessed for reports of patient-initiated violence.
One-half of the caregiver sample (52.9%) reported an incident of patient-initiated violence during their interview; 62.2% of these involved violence toward themselves, and 24.3% toward property. Reports of patient violence were associated with caregiver ratings of hostility expressed toward patients, lower self-esteem, and emotion-focused coping. People caring on their own were more likely to report incidents of patient violence. Younger patients, males, and inpatients were more frequently identified as having a history of this kind of violence.
Our findings suggested that caregiver reports of patient-initiated violence in psychosis are not uncommon. Mental health staff need to be aware of the risks of such violence for caregivers of people with psychosis, and consider appropriate procedures for minimizing it.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims and method In up to a quarter of patients, schizophrenia is resistant to standard treatments. We undertook a naturalistic study of 153 patients treated in the tertiary referral in-patient unit of the National Psychosis Service based at the Maudsley Hospital in London. A retrospective analysis of symptoms on admission and discharge was undertaken using the OPCRIT tool, along with preliminary economic modelling of potential costs related to changes in accommodation.
Results In-patient treatment demonstrated statistically significant improvements in all symptom categories in patients already identified as having schizophrenia refractory to standard secondary care. The preliminary cost analysis showed net savings to referring authorities due to changes from pre- to post-discharge accommodation.
Clinical implications Despite the enormous clinical, personal and societal burden of refractory psychotic illnesses, there is insufficient information on the outcomes of specialised tertiary-level care. Our pilot data support its utility in all domains measured.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) is a psychological therapy which has been shown to be effective in improving cognitive functioning in service users with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. There are challenges to routinely implementing CRT within inpatient services due to a limited availability of therapists to deliver it. This paper describes a model of service delivery piloted in a specialist inpatient psychosis service which included health-care assistants (HCAs) working under the supervision of a clinical psychologist to help deliver CRT. The experience of the HCAs in undertaking this work is described from a first-person perspective.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Historically, it has been difficult to demonstrate an impact of training in psychological interventions for people with psychosis on routine practice and on patient outcomes. A recent pilot evaluation suggested that postgraduate training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp) increased the delivery of competent therapy in routine services. In this study, we evaluated clinical outcomes for patients receiving therapy from therapists who successfully completed training, and their association with ratings of therapist competence and therapy content. Aims: To characterize the therapy delivered during training and to inform both a calculation of effect size for its clinical impact, and the development of competence benchmarks to ensure that training standards are sufficient to deliver clinical improvement. Method: Paired patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) were extracted from anonymized therapy case reports, and were matched with therapy ratings for each therapist. Results: Twenty clients received a course of competent therapy, including a high frequency of active therapy techniques, from nine therapists. Pre-post effect size for change in psychotic symptoms was large (d = 1.0) and for affect, medium (d = 0.6), but improved outcomes were not associated with therapist competence or therapy content. Conclusions: Therapists trained to research trial standards of competence achieved excellent clinical outcomes. Therapy effect sizes suggest that training costs may be offset by clinical benefit. Larger, methodologically stringent evaluations of training are now required. Future research should assess the necessary and sufficient training required to achieve real-world clinical effectiveness, and the cost-effectiveness of training.
No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Increasing access to evidence-based talking therapies for people with psychosis is a national health priority. We have piloted a new, "low intensity" (LI) CBT intervention specifically designed to be delivered by frontline mental health staff, following brief training, and with ongoing supervision and support. A pilot feasibility study has demonstrated significant improvement in service user outcomes. This study is a qualitative analysis of the experiences of the staff and service users taking part in the evaluation. Aims: To evaluate the acceptability of the training protocol and the therapy, and to examine the factors promoting and restraining implementation. Method: All trained staff and service users completed a semi-structured interview that was transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis. Results: Service users spoke about learning new skills and achieving their goals. Staff spoke about being able to use a brief, structured intervention to achieve positive outcomes for their clients. Both groups felt that longer, more sophisticated interventions were required to address more complex problems. The positive clinical outcomes motivated therapists to continue using the approach, despite organizational barriers. Conclusions: For both trained staff and service users, taking part in the study was a positive experience. Staff members' perceived skill development and positive reaction to seeing their clients improve should help to promote implementation. Work is needed to clarify whether and how more complex difficulties should be addressed by frontline staff.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy