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An investigation of the influence of life events on relapse and delusional themes in psychosis

Shipley, Katherine; (1999) An investigation of the influence of life events on relapse and delusional themes in psychosis. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy.), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This project aimed to investigate potential relationships between life events, delusional beliefs and psychotic relapse. The background of the research included symptom focused models of psychosis, evidence suggesting stress-delusional theme links and accumulating evidence demonstrating quantitative relationships between life events and the onset/relapse of psychosis. The current study explored these factors in 33 individuals who had experienced an initial onset of psychosis within the past five years. The groups were sub-divided for the analyses, according to whether or not they had relapsed during the past year, and according to their delusional beliefs. Regarding associations between life events and relapse, the current study found a significantly higher frequency of life events in the 0-3 month period prior to interview, in the non-relapsed group, compared with the same period prior to relapse, in the relapsed group. This was in direct contrast to previous research, which has demonstrated significantly elevated frequencies of life events prior to relapse of psychosis. However, there were differences in the types of life events reported. For instance, the relapsed group had a comparatively high incidence of life events focused on the self, whereas the non-relapsed group were characterised by greater frequencies of events focused on others. The second section of this research explored relationships between delusional beliefs and relapse. The relapsed group reported significantly more delusional beliefs during relapse, than the non-relapsed group did at interview. Furthermore, the relapsed group had significantly more life-time delusional beliefs. They were also significantly more distressed by these beliefs at interview, than the non-relapsed group were. The final section of the research explored themes of life events and themes of delusions. Small frequencies of participants reported some of the themes concerned, limiting the analyses. However, a significant relationship was found between delusions of reference and events associated with danger. Interpretations of the results are put forward, and suggestions for further research are made.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy.
Title: An investigation of the influence of life events on relapse and delusional themes in psychosis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Psychosis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099234
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