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Group CBT for psychosis in acute care: a review of outcome studies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 February 2015

Mary Owen
Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool, School of Health and Wellbeing, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, Whelan Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, UK
Tom Speight
Broadoak Unit, Mersey Care NHS Trust, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
May Sarsam
Broadoak Unit, Mersey Care NHS Trust, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
William Sellwood
Clinical Psychology, Division of Health Research, Furness Building, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
E-mail address:


There is evidence that group cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBTp) is an effective treatment, but much of this research has been conducted with outpatient populations. The aim of this review was to determine the utility of group CBTp for inpatients. We systematically searched Scopus, Web of Science and EBSCO electronic databases to identify relevant research. We reviewed the resulting articles and included those which had been conducted with inpatients, with symptoms of psychosis, using cognitive behaviour therapy, delivered in a group format. Fourteen articles relating to ten studies were identified. Two were randomized controlled trials; two were cohort studies and the rest were pre-/post-intervention studies. There was considerable heterogeneity between the studies and all had methodological limitations. The findings suggest positive trends towards the reduction of distress associated with psychotic symptoms, increased knowledge of symptoms, decreased affective symptoms and reduced readmissions over several years. However, there is currently not enough evidence to draw any strong conclusions regarding the utility of group CBTp for inpatients due to the small number of studies and limitations in quality and generalizability. Therefore, this review indicates the need for further research, particularly large, methodologically rigorous, randomized controlled trials.

Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2015 

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