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Background: Social anxiety is a common problem among people who are recovering from psychosis. At present there is no evidence based psychological treatment targeting social anxiety in this population. Cognitive Bias Modification for Interpretation (CBM-I) has been shown to be effective in reducing social anxiety in people who do not have a history of psychosis. Aims: To assess the feasibility and acceptability of the CBM-I methodology for use in a clinical setting with people who are experiencing social anxiety following an episode of psychosis. Method: Eight participants with social anxiety were recruited from an early intervention service. A single session of computerized CBM-I was conducted, with mood and cognitive interpretation bias being assessed before and after the session. Results: All participants reported an improvement in mood immediately following the CBM-I session (n = 8). For those participants who had a negative interpretation bias, none became more negative following the CBM-I session, with three out of six participants showing a beneficial change. Conclusion: These results suggest that CBM-I is acceptable for use with people who are experiencing social anxiety following a psychotic episode. Further research looking at how CBM-I could be made more interactive and producing more applicable scenarios for use in a clinical setting is recommended.
Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, and University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy
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