Benefits and harms of providing biological causal models in the treatment of psychosis – An experimental study

Publication year: 2011
Source: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Volume 42, Issue 4, December 2011, Pages 447-453

Eva, Lüllmann , Sven, Berendes , Winfried, Rief , Tania M., Lincoln

 Background and objectives: Although many studies have investigated the impact of causal models on public attitudes toward people with psychosis, the effect of causal models on patients with psychosis is unclear. Clinicians must therefore decide about providing causal information without knowing how it will impact on patient and treatment. This study investigates the effect of causal models on different aspects of treatment motivation. Methods: In an experimental online study healthy individuals (n = 461) were instructed to imagine experiencing psychotic symptoms and seeking professional help. The imagination was supported by an audio play cover story. Subsequently, participants were randomized to four conditions differing in the…

 Highlights: ► Healthy individuals imagine experiencing psychotic symptoms. ► We randomly present manipulated causal models for the symptoms. ► We assess different aspects of the participants’ potential treatment motivation. ► The content of causal models determines specific treatment motivation. ► Combining psychological and biological causes in a model appears most beneficial.