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Post-traumatic mechanisms are theorised to contribute to voice-hearing in people with psychosis and a history of trauma. Phenomenological links between trauma and voices support this hypothesis, as they suggest post-traumatic processes contribute to the content of, and relationships with, voices. However, research has included small samples and lacked theory-based comprehensive assessments.
In people with distressing voices (n = 73) who experienced trauma prior to voice-hearing, trauma–voice links were assessed both independently and dependently (descriptions were presented and rated separately and together, respectively) by both participants and researchers. A structured coding frame assessed four types of independent links (i.e. victimisation type, physiological-behavioural, emotional, and cognitive response themes including negative self-beliefs) and three types of dependent links: relational (similar interaction with/response to, voice and trauma); content (voice and trauma content are exactly the same); and identity (voice identity is the same as perpetrator).
Independent links were prevalent in participants (51–58%) and low to moderately present in researcher ratings (8–41%) for significant themes. Identification of negative self-beliefs in trauma was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of negative self-beliefs in voices [participants odds ratio (OR) 9.8; researchers OR 4.9]. Participants and researchers also reported many dependent links (80%, 66%, respectively), most frequently relational links (75%, 64%), followed by content (60%, 25%) and identity links (51%, 22%).
Trauma appears to be a strong shaping force for voice content and its psychological impact. The most common trauma–voice links involved the experience of cognitive-affective psychological threat, embodied in relational experiences. Trauma-induced mechanisms may be important intervention targets.
Evidence supports the use of group therapy for symptom reduction and improving functioning in people with psychosis. However, research guidelines highlight the importance of establishing the feasibility of interventions. Adherence is an important indicator of feasibility and an essential step in supporting the development of the evidence base for group interventions. This review aims to estimate adherence, and possible barriers and facilitators, to psychotherapeutic groups in people with psychosis.
Embase, Ovid MEDLINE and PsycINFO databases were searched for cross-referencing terms related to group therapy and psychosis. Studies were assessed against inclusion criteria and methodological quality was evaluated. Data wasextracted from each paper including the average session attendance, demographic, clinical, study and therapy-related characteristics and the impact of these on adherence levels evaluated.
Fifty-nine original research papers were included, reporting on 52 independent studies which consisted of 66 therapy groups comprised of 2109 participants. Average adherence was 76.4% (s.d. = 17.4). Adherence was improved by receiving incentives and was higher in participants of older age. Study sample size was inversely associated with adherence levels. Study quality was variable with approximately 61.5% found to be at risk of bias. The results support the feasibility of group therapy and suggest that adherence in people with psychosis is not dissimilar to those for people experiencing common mental health difficulties. These findings, alongside efficacy evidence, support the use of group interventions in people with psychosis but also highlight the need for further high-quality research on the efficacy for these approaches.
Understanding the interplay between trauma-related psychological mechanisms and psychotic symptoms may improve the effectiveness of interventions for post-traumatic stress reactions in psychosis. Network theory assumes that mental health problems persist not because of a common latent variable, but from dynamic feedback loops between symptoms, thereby addressing the heterogeneous and overlapping nature of traumagenic and psychotic diagnoses. This is a proof-of-concept study examining interactions between post-traumatic stress symptoms, which were hypothesized to reflect trauma-related psychological mechanisms, and auditory hallucinations and delusions.
Baseline data from two randomised controlled trials (N = 216) of trauma-focused therapy in people with post-traumatic stress symptoms (87.5% met diagnostic criteria for PTSD) and psychotic disorder were analysed. Reexperiencing, hyperarousal, avoidance, trauma-related beliefs, auditory hallucinations and delusional beliefs were used to estimate a Gaussian graphical model along with expected node influence and predictability (proportion of explained variance).
Trauma-related beliefs had the largest direct influence on the network and, together with hypervigilance, were implicated in the shortest paths from flashbacks to delusions and auditory hallucinations.
These findings are in contrast to previous research suggesting a central role for re-experiencing, emotional numbing and interpersonal avoidance in psychosis. Trauma-related beliefs were the psychological mechanism most associated with psychotic symptoms, although not all relevant mechanisms were measured. This work demonstrates that investigating multiple putative mediators may clarify which processes are most relevant to trauma-related psychosis. Further research should use network modelling to investigate how the spectrum of traumatic stress reactions play a role in psychotic symptoms.
Children from language minority (LM) environments speak a language at home that differs from that at school, are often from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, and are at risk for reading impairment. We evaluated the main effects and interaction of language status and phonological memory and awareness on reading disorder in 352 children from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. A significant phonological memory by language status interaction indicated that phonological memory problems were magnified in predicting reading impairment in children from LM versus English dominant (ED) homes. Among children without reading disorder, language minority status was unrelated to phonological processing.
The negative symptoms of psychosis and depressive symptomatology share several features, e.g. low motivation, apathy and reduced activity. Understanding the associations between these two sets of symptoms will support improved assessment and the development of interventions targeting these difficulties in people with psychosis. This is the first large systematic review and meta-analysis to quantify the relationship between these two categories of symptoms, as measured in studies to date. PsycInfo, Embase and Medline were systematically searched to identify eligible studies. Inclusion criteria ensured the studies measured both depression and negative symptoms using validated measures in a sample of over 8000 participants with non-affective psychosis diagnoses. The search led to 2020 records being screened and 56 included in the meta-analysis and review. Both meta-analyses and meta-regressions were conducted to explore the main effect and potential moderating variables. A clear pattern emerges showing that higher ratings of negative symptoms are associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms, with a small effect [standardised effect size = 0.19, p < 0.05). This did not vary greatly with the measures used (SES = 0.19–0.26) and was not moderated by demographic variables or quality ratings. Interestingly, higher depressive symptoms predict a significant relationship with co-occurring negative symptoms. However, higher negative symptoms predict that it is less likely there will be a relationship with co-occurring depressive symptoms. Heterogeneity was high across these analyses. The findings support the adoption of a symptom-specific approach to understanding the interplay between negative and depressive symptoms in psychosis, to improve assessment and intervention.
Efficacy and safety of aripiprazole administered at doses lower than those previously studied systematically were investigated in patients with acute exacerbation of schizophrenia.
In this double-blind, multicenter study, 367 patients requiring inpatient hospitalization for acute relapse of schizophrenia were randomized to one of three fixed doses of aripiprazole (2, 5, or 10 mg/day) or placebo for 6 weeks. Efficacy and safety parameters were assessed weekly. Primary outcome measure was mean change from baseline in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS)Total score at endpoint.
Aripiprazole 10 mg/day produced statistically significantly greater improvements from baseline compared with placebo for PANSS Total at endpoint (−11.3 vs −5.3; P=.03) and at weeks 2–5. Aripiprazole 5 mg/day did not produce significantly greater improvement in PANSS Total compared with placebo at endpoint, although significant differences were seen at weeks 3–5. No statistically significant improvements compared with placebo were achieved with aripiprazole 2 mg/day at any time points. All aripiprazole doses were well tolerated. Aripiprazole was not associated with significant extrapyramidal symptoms.
While aripiprazole 5 mg/day warrants further study, the 10 mg/day dose provides effective and well-tolerated therapy for management of acute psychosis in patients with schizophrenia.
The wide-ranging varieties of capitalism literature rests on a particular conception of banks and banking that, the authors argue, no longer reflects the reality of modern financial systems. They take advantage of the greater information regarding bank activities revealed by the financial crisis to consider the reality, across eight of the world's largest developed economies, of the financial power of banks to act as bulwarks against market forces. This article offers a market-based banking framework that transcends the bank-based/capital market–based dichotomy that dominates comparative political economy's consideration of financial systems and argues that future CPE research should focus on the activities of banks. By demonstrating how market-based banking increases market influences on the supply of credit, the authors highlight an underap-preciated source of financial market pressure on nonfinancial companies (NFCs) that can have a potential impact across the range of issues that the varieties of capitalism (VoC) literature has seen as differentiating national systems. This approach has implications in areas such as labor, welfare, innovation, and flexibility.
A literature search yielded no studies investigating Wegner's (1989) proposal that repeated suppression attempts and rebound opportunities (indulgence cycles) lead to an escalation of intrusions, providing a mechanism whereby an unwanted intrusive thought may develop into a clinical obsession. It was predicted, based on Wegner's (1994) ironic process theory of mental control, that individuals high in trait obsessionality would exhibit an increase in thought frequency as a function of indulgence cycle and that those low in trait obsessionality would display a corresponding decrease in thought frequency. Participants (N=40) were asked to suppress and then express a personally relevant obsessive intrusive thought through two indulgence cycles. There was no significant escalation in thoughts across indulgence cycles for the high obsessionality group, but the low obsessionality group were significantly more successful at suppression. The results confirm previous research suggesting that trait obsessionality has an impact upon the effectiveness of thought suppression.
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