Doctorate in Clinical Psychology : Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Making Sense of Unhelpful Service Reactions to People with a Diagnosis of ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’: A Conceptual Review; 2) Resourcing, Engagement, Measurement of Effectiveness and Service User Feedback for Mentalisation-Based Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder in a Secondary Care Service; 3) Negative Interpretations of Ambiguous ‘Psychosis-like’ and ‘Anxiety-like’ Experiences in Recovery from Psychosis or Anxiety: An Exploratory Study.

  • Rebecca Sired

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Objectives: Fear of relapse (FOR) after experiencing psychosis has been found to predictactual relapse (Gumley et al., 2015); however potential mechanisms underlying thisrelationship have not been investigated. Negative appraisals are believed to play a crucialrole in both psychosis and mental health anxiety (MHA). This study aimed to explorewhether people in recovery from psychosis or anxiety negatively interpret ambiguousexperiences related to their previous mental health difficulty relative to controls.Design: A cross-sectional between-groups questionnaire design.Methods: Participants in recovery from psychosis (n=33) or anxiety (n=77) or with noprevious mental health experience (n=61) were recruited online or via NHS services.Interpretations of psychosis-like, anxiety-like and external-control experiences weremeasured using the Experiences Interpretation Questionnaire (EIQ) developed for thispurpose, and MHA and FOR using self-report questionnaires. A two-way (group x itemtype) mixed-model ANOVA was used to test for interactions and between groupdifferences in negative interpretations. Linear regression modelling was used to examineassociations between independent variable, MHA (and FOR as covariate) and dependentvariable, negative interpretations. A t-test was used to compare differences in mean FORbetween the MH groups.Results: People in recovery from psychosis interpreted psychosis-like experiencessignificantly more negatively than the other groups. Negative interpretations of anxiety-like experiences were comparable for the mental health groups, both differing significantly from controls. Contrary to predictions, FOR was not significantly different between the mental health groups. MHA and FOR did not significantly predict negative interpretations of psychosis-like items in the psychosis group, however MHA predicted negative interpretations of anxiety-like items in the anxiety group. The EIQ subscales demonstrated good test-retest reliability. Conclusions: Findings suggest people in recovery from psychosis or anxiety may negatively interpret ambiguous experiences relating to their previous mental health difficulties. Interpretations of possible symptoms may merit attention during relapse prevention planning and further research exploring relationship with relapse may be of value
Date of Award16 Sept 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorEmma Griffith (Supervisor), Paul Salkovskis (Supervisor), Elizabeth Marks (Supervisor) & Catherine Butler (Supervisor)

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