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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Ben Alderson-Day

Dodgson, Guy, Alderson-Day, Ben, Smailes, David, Ryles, Faye, Mayer, Claire, Glen-Davison, Joanne, Mitrenga, Kaja & Fernyhough, Charles (2020). Tailoring cognitive behavioural therapy to subtypes of voice-hearing using a novel tabletised manual: a feasibility study. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Author(s) from Durham


Cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBTp) is a recommended treatment for psychotic experiences, but its effectiveness has been questioned. One way of addressing this may be to tailor therapy materials to the phenomenology of specific psychotic experiences.

In this study, we investigated the acceptability of a novel treatment manual for subtypes of ‘voice-hearing’ experiences (i.e. auditory verbal hallucinations). An uncontrolled, single-arm design was used to assess feasibility and acceptability of using the manual in routine care for people with frequent voice-hearing experiences.

The manual was delivered on a smart tablet and incorporated recent research evidence and theory into its psychoeducation materials. In total, 24 participants completed a baseline assessment; 19 started treatment, 15 completed treatment and 12 participants completed a follow-up assessment (after 10 sessions of using the manual).

Satisfaction with therapy scores and acceptability ratings were high, while completion rates suggested that the manual may be more appropriate for help with participants from Early Intervention in Psychosis services rather than Community Mental Health Teams.

Within-group changes in symptom scores suggested that overall symptom severity of hallucinations – but not other psychosis features, or beliefs about voices – are likely to be the most appropriate primary outcome for further evaluation in a full randomised controlled trial.