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.