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OBJECTIVES: SlowMo is the first blended digital therapy for paranoia, showing significant small-moderate reductions in paranoia in a recent large-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT). This study explored the subjective service-user experience of the SlowMo therapy content and design; the experience of the blended therapy approach, including the triangle of the therapeutic alliance; and the experience of the digital aspects of the intervention. DESIGN: Qualitative co-produced sub-study of an RCT. METHODS: Participants were 22 adult service users with schizophrenia-spectrum psychosis and persistent distressing paranoia, who completed at least one SlowMo therapy session and a 24-week follow-up, at one of 3 sites in Oxford, London, and Sussex, UK. They were interviewed by peer researchers, using a topic guide co-produced by the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team. The transcribed data were analysed thematically. Multiple coding and triangulation, and lay peer researcher validation were used to reach a consensus on the final theme structure. RESULTS: Six core themes were identified: (i) starting the SlowMo journey; (ii) the central role of the supportive therapist; (iii) slowing things down; (iv) value and learning from social connections; (v) approaches and challenges of technology; and (vi) improvements in paranoia and well-being. CONCLUSIONS: For these service users, slowing down for a moment was helpful, and integrated into thinking over time. Learning from social connections reflected reduced isolation, and enhanced learning through videos, vignettes, and peers. The central role of the supportive therapist and the triangle of alliance between service user, therapist, and digital platform were effective in promoting positive therapeutic outcomes.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/papt.12393

Type

Journal article

Journal

Psychol Psychother

Publication Date

20/04/2022

Keywords

cognitive behaviour therapy, paranoia, patient and, psychosis, public involvement, qualitative, reasoning, schizophrenia-spectrum, service user experience, thematic analysis