A systematic scoping review of psychological therapies for psychosis within acute psychiatric in-patient settings

Pamela Jacobsen, Kathleen Hodkinson, Emmanuelle Peters, Paul Chadwick

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BACKGROUND: People with psychotic disorders account for most acute admissions to psychiatric wards. Psychological therapies are a treatment adjunct to standard medication and nursing care, but the evidence base for such therapies within in-patient settings is unclear.AimsTo conduct a systematic scoping review of the current evidence base for psychological therapies for psychosis delivered within acute in-patient settings (PROSPERO: CRD42015025623).

METHOD: All study designs, and therapy models, were eligible for inclusion in the review. We searched PubMed, PsycINFO, EThOS, ProQuest, conference abstracts and trial registries.

RESULTS: We found 65 studies that met criteria for inclusion in the review, 21 of which were randomised controlled trials (RCTs). The majority of studies evaluated cognitive-behavioural interventions. Quality was variable across all study types. The RCTs were mostly small (n<25 in the treatment arm), and many had methodological limitations including poorly described randomisation methods, inadequate allocation concealment and non-masked outcome assessments. We found studies used a wide range of different outcome measures, and relatively few studies reported affective symptoms or recovery-based outcomes. Many studies described adaptations to treatment delivery within in-patient settings, including increased frequency of sessions, briefer interventions and use of single-session formats.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on these findings, there is a clear need to improve methodological rigour within in-patient research. Interpretation of the current evidence base is challenging given the wide range of different therapies, outcome measures and models of delivery described in the literature.Declaration of interestNone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-497
Number of pages8
JournalThe British Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
Early online date26 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


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