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BACKGROUND: The role of emotion in psychosis is being increasingly recognised. Cognitive conceptualisations of psychosis (e.g. [Garety, P.A., Kuipers, E.K., Fowler, D., Freeman, D., Bebbington, P.E., 2001. A cognitive model of the positive symptoms of psychosis. Psychological Medicine, 31, 189-195]) emphasise a central, normal, direct and non-defensive role for negative emotion in the development and maintenance of psychosis. This study tests specific predictions made by Garety et al. [Garety, P.A., Kuipers, E.K., Fowler, D., Freeman, D., Bebbington, P.E., 2001. A cognitive model of the positive symptoms of psychosis. Psychological Medicine, 31, 189-195] about the role of emotion and negative evaluative beliefs in psychosis. METHODS: 100 participants who had suffered a recent relapse in psychosis were recruited at baseline for the Prevention of Relapse in Psychosis (PRP) trial. In a cross-sectional analysis, we examined the role of depression, self-esteem and negative evaluative beliefs in relation to specific positive symptoms (persecutory delusions, auditory hallucinations and grandiose delusions) and symptom dimensions (e.g. distress, negative content, pre-occupation and conviction). RESULTS: Analysis indicated that individuals with more depression and lower self-esteem had auditory hallucinations of greater severity and more intensely negative content, and were more distressed by them. In addition, individuals with more depression, lower self-esteem and more negative evaluations about themselves and others had persecutory delusions of greater severity and were more pre-occupied and distressed by them. The severity of grandiose delusions was related inversely to depression scores and negative evaluations about self, and directly to higher self-esteem. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence for the role of emotion in schizophrenia spectrum-disorders. Mood, self-esteem and negative evaluative beliefs should be considered when conceptualising psychosis and designing interventions.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.schres.2006.06.018

Type

Journal article

Journal

Schizophr Res

Publication Date

09/2006

Volume

86

Pages

181 - 188

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Delusions, Depression, Emotions, Female, Hallucinations, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Personality Disorders, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Psychotic Disorders, Self Concept, Severity of Illness Index, Statistics as Topic