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Client experiences of blending a coping-focused therapy for auditory verbal hallucinations with smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment and intervention

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  • Additional Information
    • Affiliation:
      a Centre for Mental Health, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
      b Living with a Disability Research Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
      c Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
    • Keywords:
      Ecological momentary assessment
      Experience sampling
      Smartphone intervention
      Personalized feedback
      Auditory hallucinations
    • Abstract:
      This study explored participants' experiences of a novel intervention blending ecological momentary assessment and intervention (EMA/I) digital technologies with four face-to-face therapy sessions to improve coping in people who experience persisting auditory verbal hallucinations (hear voices). A smartphone app was used to deliver prompts to facilitate both self-monitoring and self-management of voices. Analysis of data recorded by the app was also used in-session to develop an idiographic formulation of antecedents of and responses to voice-hearing episodes. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 participants who completed the blended therapy. A thematic approach was used to analyse the data, generating four main themes, with associated subthemes: (1) Therapy experience changed by digital technology; (2) Valuing face-to-face component; (3) Preference for different phases of the digital technology; (4) Not as bothered by voices. Key findings revealed that participants perceived EMA/I technology as helping capture their experience more accurately and communicate this more effectively to the therapist, which, in combination with coping prompts developed in-session, deepened the therapeutic relationship. These findings add to the emerging literature that shows blended therapy can play an important role in the treatment of people with psychosis, and suggest potential of EMA/I as a technology for other clinical populations.
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    • Copyright:
      © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.