SlowMo therapy, a new digital blended therapy for fear of harm from others: An account of therapy personalisation within a targeted intervention.
Ward T., Hardy A., Holm R., Collett N., Rus-Calafell M., Sacadura C., McGourty A., Vella C., East A., Rea M., Harding H., Emsley R., Greenwood K., Freeman D., Fowler D., Kuipers E., Bebbington P., Garety P.
OBJECTIVES: SlowMo therapy is a pioneering blended digital therapy for paranoia, augmenting face-to-face therapy with an interactive 'webapp' and a mobile app. A recent large-scale trial demonstrated small-moderate effects on paranoia alongside improvements in self-esteem, worry, well-being and quality of life. This paper provides a comprehensive account of therapy personalisation within this targeted approach. DESIGN: Case examples illustrate therapy delivery and descriptive data are presented on personalised thought content. METHOD: Thought content was extracted from the webapp (n = 140 participants) and coded using newly devised categories: Worries: (1) Persecutory, (2) Negative social evaluation, (3) Negative self-concept, (4) Loss/life stresses, (5) Sensory-perceptual experiences and (6) Health anxieties. Safer thoughts: (1) Safer alternative (specific alternatives to worries), (2) Second-wave (generalised) coping, (3) Positive self-concept, (4) Positive activities and (5) Third-wave (mindfulness-based) coping. Data on therapy fidelity are also presented. RESULTS: Worries: 'Persecutory' (92.9% of people) and 'Negative social evaluation' (74.3%) were most common. 'General worries/ life stresses' (31.4%) and 'Negative self-concept' (22.1%) were present in a significant minority; 'Health anxieties' (10%) and 'Sensory-perceptual' (10%) were less common. Safer thoughts: 'Second-wave (general) coping' (85%), 'Safer alternatives' (76.4%), 'Positive self-concept' (65.7%) and 'Positive activities' (64.3%) were common with 'Third-wave' (mindfulness) coping observed for 30%. Fidelity: Only three therapy withdrawals were therapy related. Session adherence was excellent (mean = 15.2/16; SD = 0.9). Behavioural work was conducted with 71% of people (119/168). CONCLUSION: SlowMo therapy delivers a targeted yet personalised approach. Potential mechanisms of action extend beyond reasoning. Implications for cognitive models of paranoia and causal interventionist approaches are discussed.