Effectiveness of Group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Individuals Experiencing Auditory Hallucinations

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Critical Review
This paper reviews two studies on the effectiveness of group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for individuals experiencing auditory hallucinations. The first study (Newton, Larkin, Melhuish, & Wykes, 2007) aims to elicit the positive and negative aspects of group CBT treatment by listening to the perspectives of young people undergoing such treatment. The second study (Penn et al. 2009) seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of group CBT for auditory hallucinations compared to an active control group of enhanced supportive therapy (ST).
For the first study eight participants aged 17 -18 years old who had attended every session of the 7-week group CBT programme were interviewed. In the second study 65 participants
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Enhanced ST impacted more specifically on auditory hallucinations, and CBT impacted on general psychotic symptoms.

Background to the Study
Auditory hallucinations can contribute to a range of secondary psychopathologies including depression (e.g. Escher, Delespaul, Romme, Buiks, & Van Os, 2003). Interventions are primarily pharmacological (Lehman et al. 2004) however adverse side-effects and high rates of non-compliance have prompted the emergence of alternative treatments such as individual CBT. This has proven effective in the treatment of symptoms of schizophrenia (Wykes, Steel, Everitt, & Tarrier, 2008). Group CBT interventions has been developed to improve accessibility of treatment and has incorporated psychological models of auditory hallucinations and psychosis (Morrison, 1998) by including psychoeducation, coping strategy enhancement and cognitive-behavioural formulation as well as psychosocial techniques (Chadwick & Birchwood, 1996).
Early intervention services have relied on research with adult participants as young people who are at risk are often not diagnosed and are excluded from research (Addington & Mancusco 2009). The first study seeks to conduct research with young people to inform clinical practice. Recruitment to the first study took the form of the Symptom Approach as advocated by Bentall (1990) who criticises Diagnosis-led research which seeks to find homogeneous interventions for heterogeneous schizophrenia groups. The aims of the

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