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Background: Functional neurological symptoms (FNS) are considered non-volitional and often very disabling, but are not explainable by neurological disease or structural abnormalities. Brief Augmented Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy (BAPIT) was adapted to treat the putative emotion processing deficits thought to be central to FNS aetiology and maintenance. BAPIT for FNS has previously been shown to improve levels of distress and functioning, but it is unknown whether improvements on such measures correlate with changes in emotion processing ‒ which this treatment focuses on. Aim: To determine (a) whether the recently developed Emotional Processing Scale-25 can be used to demonstrate BAPIT-associated changes in patients with FNS, and (b) whether changes in the EPS-25 are associated with changes in previously validated outcome measures. Method: 44 patients with FNS completed questionnaires including the EPS-25 and measures of clinical symptomology (health-related quality of life (SF-36), somatic symptoms (PHQ-15), psychological distress (CORE-10) and illness understanding (BIPQ)) pre- and post-therapy. Results: At group level, emotion processing improved following therapy (p = .049). Some measures of clinical symptomology also improved, namely health-related quality of life (p = .02) and illness understanding (p = .01). Improvements in the EPS-25 correlated with improvements in mental health-related quality of life and psychological distress. Conclusions: Emotion processing and some measures of clinical symptomology improved in patients with FNS following BAPIT. The EPS-25 demonstrated changes that correlated with previously validated outcome measures. The EPS-25 is a suitable measure of psychotherapy-associated change in the FNS patient population.
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