Taking Psychosis Therapy Into the Digital Age

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SlowMo, a new digital platform for patients to use outside therapy session, targets the psychological processes that play a role in paranoia.
SlowMo, a new digital platform for patients to use outside therapy session, targets the psychological processes that play a role in paranoia.
 

SlowMo is set to undergo further development and analysis, and its potential for facilitating behavioural changes will be explored in greater detail. Two further papers, one focusing on the research team's most recent case series and the other on the design research process for the development of SlowMo, are currently being prepared.

Frontiers in Public Health has already published the research team's initial feasibility findings, which indicate that the app provides a means of overcoming barriers to access, uptake and adherence to therapies for psychosis.3 A more in-depth feasibility study and randomized control trial are planned. NHS psychosis services in South London & Maudsley, Oxford, and Sussex Foundation Trusts are supporting the clinical trialling of the platform, which the PRP want to make free of charge at point of access.

Conclusion

This innovative digital therapy platform is showing great promise as a means of assisting people experiencing distressing paranoid thoughts to develop coping skills. Furthermore, it will provide those accessing therapy with an important tool for translating what is learned in therapy into their daily lives. The platform is still undergoing trials as, according to Hardy, “We want to ensure that we have established safety, acceptability, usability and efficacy before we release it.” In the meantime, a video demonstrating how the platform is used can be viewed,4 and Hardy encourages interested parties to contact her for further information.

Editor's note: Dr Amy Hardy can be contacted at: amy.hardy@kcl.ac.uk.

Nicola Davies, PhD, is a psychologist and freelance writer who lives in Bedfordshire, UK. She has a love of learning and a passion for making scientific knowledge accessible to everyone. 

References

  1. The Psychosis Research Partnership comprises Professors Philippa Garety, Elizabeth Kuipers, David Fowler, Paul Bebbington, Daniel Freeman, Graham Dunn, Dr.'s Helen Waller, Richard Emsley, and Amy Hardy.
  2. Waller, H. et al. (2015) Thinking well: A randomized controlled feasibility study of a new CBT therapy targeting reasoning biases in people with distressing persecutory beliefs. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry; 48:82-9.

  3. Hardy, A. et al. (2016) Designing the future of talking therapy: Using digital health to improve outcomes in psychosis. Frontiers. Available from: http://www.frontiersin.org/10.3389/conf.FPUBH.2016.01.00044/3118/2nd_Behaviour_Change_Conference_Digital_Health_and_Wellbeing/all_events/event_abstract [Last accessed 03/10/2016].
  4. Royal College of Arts (2015) SlowMo: Slow down for a moment. Available from: http://www.rca.ac.uk/research-innovation/helen-hamlyn-centre/research-projects/2015-projects/slowmo/ [Last accessed 03/10/2016].

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