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Many individuals with first-episode psychosis experience severe and persistent social disability despite receiving specialist early intervention. The SUPEREDEN3 trial assessed whether augmenting early intervention in psychosis services with Social Recovery Therapy (SRT) would lead to better social recovery.
A qualitative process evaluation was conducted to explore implementation and mechanisms of SRT impact from the perspective of SUPEREDEN3 participants.
A subsample of SUPEREDEN3 trial participants (n = 19) took part in semi-structured interviews, which were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. Trial participants were early intervention service users aged 16–35 years with severe and persistent social disability. Both SRT plus early intervention and early intervention alone arm participants were interviewed to facilitate better understanding of the context in which SRT was delivered and to aid identification of mechanisms specific to SRT.
The six themes identified were used to generate an explanatory model of SRT’s enhancement of social recovery. Participant experiences highlight the importance of the therapist cultivating increased self-understanding and assertively encouraging clients to face feared situations in a way that is perceived as supportive, while managing ongoing symptoms. The sense of achievement generated by reaching targets linked to personally meaningful goals promotes increased self-agency, and generates hope and optimism.
The findings suggest potentially important processes through which social recovery was enhanced in this trial, which will be valuable in ensuring the benefits observed can be replicated. Participant accounts provide hope that, with the right support, even clients who have persistent symptoms and the most severe disability can make a good social recovery.
Colonialism came late to northern Guatemala. The Spanish began to establish missions in the Peten Lakes region in the early 1700s, nearly 200 years after initial contact with the Mayas. Excavations in 2011–2012 at the Mission San Bernabé revealed European goods, nonnative animal species, and burial patterns that marked a new lifestyle. Who lived at the Mission San Bernabé, and where did they come from? The Spanish resettled indigenous populations to facilitate the colonization process; however, isotopic data are inconsistent with large population movements. Instead, strontium and oxygen isotope values in the tooth enamel and bones of individuals buried at the mission suggest a mostly local population. The data suggest in-migration from Belize, a region under nominal Spanish control, but with pre-Hispanic ties to the Peten. Changes did not come from migrants crossing a border; instead, the border itself moved and brought the colonial world to the Peten Mayas.
The SUPEREDEN3 study, a phase II randomized controlled trial, suggests that social recovery therapy (SRT) is useful in improving functional outcomes in people with first episode psychosis. SRT incorporates cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques with case management and employment support, and therefore has a different emphasis to traditional CBT for psychosis, requiring a new adherence tool.
This paper describes the SRT adherence checklist and content of the therapy delivered in the SUPEREDEN3 trial, outlining the frequency of SRT techniques and proportion of participants who received a full therapy dose. It was hypothesized that behavioural techniques would be used frequently, consistent with the behavioural emphasis of SRT.
Research therapists completed an adherence checklist after each therapy session, endorsing elements of SRT present. Data from 1236 therapy sessions were reviewed to determine whether participants received full, partial or no therapy dose.
Of the 75 participants randomized to receive SRT, 57.3% received a full dose, 24% a partial dose, and 18.7% received no dose. Behavioural techniques were endorsed in 50.5% of sessions, with cognitive techniques endorsed in 34.9% of sessions.
This report describes an adherence checklist which should be used when delivering SRT in both research and clinical practice. As hypothesized, behavioural techniques were a prominent feature of the SRT delivered in SUPEREDEN3, consistent with the behavioural emphasis of the approach. The use of this adherence tool would be considered essential for anyone delivering SRT looking to ensure adherence to the model.
The cognitive process of worry, which keeps negative thoughts in mind and elaborates the content, contributes to the occurrence of many mental health disorders. Our principal aim was to develop a straightforward measure of general problematic worry suitable for research and clinical treatment. Our secondary aim was to develop a measure of problematic worry specifically concerning paranoid fears.
An item pool concerning worry in the past month was evaluated in 250 non-clinical individuals and 50 patients with psychosis in a worry treatment trial. Exploratory factor analysis and item response theory (IRT) informed the selection of scale items. IRT analyses were repeated with the scales administered to 273 non-clinical individuals, 79 patients with psychosis and 93 patients with social anxiety disorder. Other clinical measures were administered to assess concurrent validity. Test-retest reliability was assessed with 75 participants. Sensitivity to change was assessed with 43 patients with psychosis.
A 10-item general worry scale (Dunn Worry Questionnaire; DWQ) and a five-item paranoia worry scale (Paranoia Worries Questionnaire; PWQ) were developed. All items were highly discriminative (DWQ a = 1.98–5.03; PWQ a = 4.10–10.7), indicating small increases in latent worry lead to a high probability of item endorsement. The DWQ was highly informative across a wide range of the worry distribution, whilst the PWQ had greatest precision at clinical levels of paranoia worry. The scales demonstrated excellent internal reliability, test-retest reliability, concurrent validity and sensitivity to change.
The new measures of general problematic worry and worry about paranoid fears have excellent psychometric properties.
To characterize the association of longitudinal changes in maternal anthropometric measures with neonatal anthropometry and to assess to what extent late-gestational changes in maternal anthropometry are associated with neonatal body composition.
In a prospective cohort of pregnant women, maternal anthropometry was measured at six study visits across pregnancy and after birth, neonates were measured and fat and lean mass calculated. We estimated maternal anthropometric trajectories and separately assessed rate of change in the second (15–28 weeks) and third trimester (28–39 weeks) in relation to neonatal anthropometry. We investigated the extent to which tertiles of third-trimester maternal anthropometry change were associated with neonatal outcomes.
Women were recruited from twelve US sites (2009–2013).
Non-obese women with singleton pregnancies (n 2334).
A higher rate of increase in gestational weight gain was associated with larger-birth-weight infants with greater lean and fat mass. In contrast, higher rates of increase in maternal anthropometry measures were not associated with infant birth weight but were associated with decreased neonatal lean mass. In the third trimester, women in the tertile of lowest change in triceps skinfold (−0·57 to −0·06 mm per week) had neonates with 35·8 g more lean mass than neonates of mothers in the middle tertile of rate of change (−0·05 to 0·06 mm per week).
The rate of change in third-trimester maternal anthropometry measures may be related to neonatal lean and fat mass yet have a negligible impact on infant birth weight, indicating that neonatal anthropometry may provide additional information over birth weight alone.
Background: A one-to-one cognitive behavioural therapy intervention targeting worry significantly reduces both worry and persecutory delusions (Freeman et al., 2015). Aim: To adapt this intervention for group delivery and conduct a feasibility trial within routine clinical practice. Method: Thirteen participants were randomized to a weekly 8-session worry intervention group (n = 7) or wait-list control (n = 6). Results: All but one participant completed measures at all time points. Participants attended an average of six therapy sessions. Conclusions: Recruitment, retention and therapy uptake were feasible. Observed treatment effects were in the expected direction, but may be diluted compared with one-to-one interventions.
Background: Guilt is commonly associated with distress and psychopathology. However, there is a lack of validated measures that assess how people cope with this aversive emotional and cognitive experience. Aims: We therefore developed and validated a self-report measure that assesses how people manage their guilt: the Guilt Management Scale (GMS). Method: The GMS was administered to a non-clinical (n = 339) and clinical (n = 67) sample, alongside other validated measures of guilt severity, coping, thought control and psychological distress. Results from a principal component analysis (PCA) and assessments of test–retest reliability and internal consistency are presented. Results: The PCA yielded a six subscale solution (Self-Punishment, Reparation, People-Focused, Spirituality, Avoidance and Metacognition), accounting for 56.14% of variance. Test–retest reliability and internal consistency was found to be good–excellent for the majority of subscales. Across samples, Self-Punishment was related to higher levels of guilt and distress whilst Metacognition and Reparation were related to less guilt and distress in the non-clinical sample only. Conclusions: This paper provides preliminary evidence for the psychometric properties of the GMS in a non-clinical sample. With development and validation in clinical samples, the GMS could be used to inform psychological formulations of guilt and assess therapy outcomes.
Ways of coping with stressful situations can be categorized as problem-focused, emotion-focused, and dysfunctional. Methods of controlling intrusive thoughts, which are frequently associated with psychological distress, have also been classified into different subgroups. This study assesses associations between methods of coping and thought control, and how these relate to distress. Sixty-eight participants were recruited from outpatient psychology services and completed measures of distress, coping, and thought control. Problem-focused coping strategies and both distraction and social thought-control strategies were associated with each other and with lower distress. Conversely, dysfunctional coping strategies and both worry and punishment thought-control strategies were associated with each other and with higher distress. Future research and the clinical implications are discussed.
The Spaniards established several congregaciones or missions in central Petén, Guatemala, shortly after the 1697 conquest of the region to help control local indigenous populations. Recent investigations at the church and community of Mission San Bernabé revealed details about the entangled relations of Mayas and Spaniards. Foucault's four technologies of domination help explicate these power relations as they were played out in the small settlement and the church at its center. Material culture differed in many ways from that of the pre-conquest Itzas, but was clearly predominantly “Maya.” Spanish-style goods and burial patterns were found as were hybrid ceramic wares, the Spanish-style artifacts most common in an elite residence, reflecting that Maya elite acted as brokers with the Spaniards. The occupants also incorporated Spanish domesticates into their diets. Some changes likely resulted from various ethnic groups residing in the same settlement, but others were the product of indigenous adaptations to the situation of contact. Nevertheless, it is clear that the mission anchored a number of strategies of domination that subdued the occupants of San Bernabé.
Background: Ruminative negative thinking has typically been considered as a factor maintaining common emotional disorders and has recently been shown to maintain persecutory delusions in psychosis. The Perseverative Thinking Questionnaire (PTQ) (Ehring et al., 2011) is a transdiagnostic measure of ruminative negative thinking that shows promise as a “content-free” measure of ruminative negative thinking. Aims: The PTQ has not previously been studied in a psychosis patient group. In this study we report for the first time on the psychometric properties of Ehring et al.'s PTQ in such a group. Method: The PTQ was completed by 142 patients with current persecutory delusions and 273 non-clinical participants. Participants also completed measures of worry and paranoia. A confirmatory factor analysis was performed on the clinical group's PTQ responses to assess the factor structure of the measure. Differences between groups were used to assess criterion reliability. Results: A three lower-order factor structure of the PTQ (core characteristics of ruminative negative thinking, perceived unproductiveness, and capturing mental capacity) was replicated in the clinical sample. Patients with persecutory delusions were shown to experience significantly higher levels of ruminative negative thinking on the PTQ than the general population sample. The PTQ demonstrated high internal reliability. Conclusions: This study did not include test-retest data, and did not compare the PTQ against a measure of depressive rumination but, nevertheless, lends support for the validity of the PTQ as a measure of negative ruminative thinking in patients with psychosis.
Background: Worry is a significant problem for individuals with paranoia, leading to delusion persistence and greater levels of distress. There are established theories concerning processes that maintain worry but little has been documented regarding what brings worry to a close. Aims: The aim was to find out what patients with persecutory delusions report are the factors that bring a worry episode to an end. Method: Eight patients with persecutory delusions who reported high levels of worry participated. An open-ended semi-structured interview technique and IPA qualitative analysis was employed to encourage a broad elaboration of relevant constructs. Results: Analyses revealed one theme that captured participants’ detailed descriptions of their experience of worry and five themes that identified factors important for bringing worry episodes to a close: natural drift, distraction, interpersonal support, feeling better, and reality testing. Conclusions: Patients with persecutory delusions report worry being uncontrollable and distressing but are able to identify ways that a period of worry can stop. The present study suggests that building on individuals’ distraction techniques, reality testing ability and their social support network could be of benefit. Research is needed to identify the most effective means of bringing paranoid worries to an end.
Judging whether we can trust other people is central to social
interaction, despite being error-prone. A fear of others can be instilled
by the contemporary political and social climate. Unfounded mistrust is
called paranoia, and in severe forms is a central symptom of
To demonstrate that individuals without severe mental illness in the
general population experience unfounded paranoid thoughts, and to
determine factors predictive of paranoia using the first laboratory
method of capturing the experience.
Two hundred members of the general public were comprehensively assessed,
and then entered a virtual reality train ride populated by neutral
characters. Ordinal logistic regressions (controlling for age, gender,
ethnicity, education, intellectual functioning, socio-economic status,
train use, playing of computer games) were used to determine predictors
The majority agreed that the characters were neutral, or even thought
they were friendly. However, a substantial minority reported paranoid
concerns. Paranoia was strongly predicted by anxiety, worry, perceptual
anomalies and cognitive inflexibility.
This is the most unambiguous demonstration of paranoid ideation in the
general public so far. Paranoia can be understood in terms of cognitive
factors. The use of virtual reality should lead to rapid advances in the
understanding of paranoia.
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