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A retrospective case study of the thematic content of psychotic experiences in a first episode psychosis population

Jones, A; Read, J; Wood, L; (2020) A retrospective case study of the thematic content of psychotic experiences in a first episode psychosis population. Journal of Mental Health 10.1080/09638237.2020.1755024. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Historically, the content of psychotic experiences has tended to be of little importance to biological psychiatry, with hallucinations and delusions being seen as symptoms of mental illness rather than meaningful experiences or responses to life circumstances. Aims: This study aims to explore the thematic content of psychotic phenomena in a sample of clients with a first episode of psychosis. Methods: The electronic medical records of 160 services users of two Early Intervention for Psychosis Services were comprehensively reviewed. A thematic analysis was used to explore the thematic content of psychotic symptoms recorded by healthcare professionals. Results: The results illustrate 30 themes and 85 sub-themes. This includes delusional beliefs (e.g. “being harmed, attacked or killed”, “being monitored or followed by others”, “special powers or abilities”) and hallucinations (e.g. “commanding voice”, “derogatory/critical voice”, “commentary”). Conclusions: The results illustrate the extensive and varied experience of psychosis within this sample. Based on the findings of this study, it is hoped that future research studies and mental health services will attend to the meaning and content of psychotic experiences.

Type: Article
Title: A retrospective case study of the thematic content of psychotic experiences in a first episode psychosis population
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2020.1755024
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2020.1755024
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Psychosis, schizophrenia, retrospective case study, content, experience, thematic analysis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108227
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