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There is wide variation in the problems prioritised by people with psychosis in cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBTp). While research trials and mental health services have often prioritised reduction in psychiatric symptoms, service users may prioritise issues not directly related to psychosis. This discrepancy suggests potential challenges in treatment outcome research.
The present study aimed to examine the types of problems that were recorded on problem lists generated in CBTp trials.
Problem and goals lists for 110 participants were extracted from CBTp therapy notes. Subsequently, problems were coded into 23 distinct categories by pooling together items that appeared thematically related.
More than half of participants (59.62%) listed a non-psychosis-related priority problem, and 22.12% did not list any psychosis related problems. Chi-square tests indicated there was no difference between participants from early intervention (EI) and other services in terms of priority problem (χ2 = 0.06, p = .804), but that those from EI were more likely to include any psychosis-related problems in their lists (χ2 = 6.66, p = .010).
The findings of this study suggest that psychiatric symptom reduction is not the primary goal of CBTp for most service users, particularly those who are not under the care of EI services. The implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.
Automated virtual reality therapies are being developed to increase access to psychological interventions. We assessed the experience with one such therapy of patients diagnosed with psychosis, including satisfaction, side effects, and positive experiences of access to the technology. We tested whether side effects affected therapy.
In a clinical trial 122 patients diagnosed with psychosis completed baseline measures of psychiatric symptoms, received gameChange VR therapy, and then completed a satisfaction questionnaire, the Oxford-VR Side Effects Checklist, and outcome measures.
79 (65.8%) patients were very satisfied with VR therapy, 37 (30.8%) were mostly satisfied, 3 (2.5%) were indifferent/mildly dissatisfied, and 1 (0.8%) person was quite dissatisfied. The most common side effects were: difficulties concentrating because of thinking about what might be happening in the room (n = 17, 14.2%); lasting headache (n = 10, 8.3%); and the headset causing feelings of panic (n = 9, 7.4%). Side effects formed three factors: difficulties concentrating when wearing a headset, feelings of panic using VR, and worries following VR. The occurrence of side effects was not associated with number of VR sessions, therapy outcomes, or psychiatric symptoms. Difficulties concentrating in VR were associated with slightly lower satisfaction. VR therapy provision and engagement made patients feel: proud (n = 99, 81.8%); valued (n = 97, 80.2%); and optimistic (n = 96, 79.3%).
Patients with psychosis were generally very positive towards the VR therapy, valued having the opportunity to try the technology, and experienced few adverse effects. Side effects did not significantly impact VR therapy. Patient experience of VR is likely to facilitate widespread adoption.
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