An Investigation of an Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program for Auditory Hallucinations Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Harper, Katy Margaret
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Many individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders experience on-going symptoms despite adequate medication trials. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for psychosis and CBT for auditory hallucinations have been found to be effective adjunctive treatments in reducing positive and general symptoms associated with psychosis but are not widely available in North America. Internet CBT has emerged as a promising way to deliver empirically supported treatments to individuals who may not be able to otherwise access them. Internet CBT programs have been widely developed for anxiety, depressive, eating and substance use disorders yet, despite evidence that individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders are willing and able to use computer based interventions, no internet CBT programs have been developed for psychotic disorders. The current study is an investigation of a novel internet CBT program (Coping with Voices) for auditory hallucinations. Twenty-three individuals participated in a self-directed, ten session CBT program designed to alter maladaptive beliefs associated with auditory hallucinations, increase positive coping strategies and provide psychoeducation about psychosis and auditory hallucinations. Subjects completed measures of general and positive symptoms as well as measures regarding the dimensions of voices and beliefs about voices. Results indicated a significant reduction in total psychiatric symptoms, as well as the general symptoms associated with schizophrenia. A significant reduction in the intensity of auditory hallucinations and a trend towards a reduction in positive symptoms and improvements in overall functioning were also found. No significant differences were found in measures of beliefs about voices or community and social functioning. Client satisfaction was generally high and feedback about the program positive. Limitations of this study include the lack of a control group or comparison treatment, the small sample size, and the lack of blinded raters. Overall results suggest the Coping with Voices program may be a promising intervention for individuals experiencing auditory hallucinations.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Penn, David L.
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2013

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