According to previous research, people who have experiences which can be described as psychosis, such as hearing voices or having beliefs that others do not seem to share, may have unhelpful patterns of thinking that pull at their attention. People can get locked into this self-focussed attention which may reinforce and maintain these experiences.
Attention Training Technique has emerged in the literature as an intervention which can be effective in treating difficulties such as generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. The current research aims to investigate whether this intervention is also helpful for people with experiences of psychosis.
What is Attention Training Technique?
Developed by Professor Adrian Wells in 1990 for use in Metacognitive Therapy, Attention Training Technique involves active listening and focusing of attention whilst being presented with sounds of varying volume and sourced from different spatial locations. This will be presented to participants in the form of an audio tape which lasts around 12 minutes in length.
The aim of Attention Training Technique is to follow the instructions given on the audio tape in focusing the attention on a particular sound. Even if other thoughts and emotions are noticed by the individual, they should not require a response. The research aims to apply the same flexible control that people have over their thinking, to experiences of psychosis.
What are the benefits of taking part in research?
All participants who take part in the trial will continue with their usual care plus get regular assessments from trial researchers for up to one year. 50% of participants will also be randomly allocated to receive Attention Training Technique on top of their usual care. Research studies like the iATTp trial are important to help develop the best possible treatment options for people experiencing mental health or emotional difficulties. Whether or not you receive ATT in this trial, feedback from previous studies suggests that trial participants often feel good about being part of something that could help provide better care for others in the future.
How can I get involved?
The study, led by Dr Sophie Parker at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and in partnership with the University of Manchester, are hoping to recruit around 76 participants across 19 months. We have 30 spaces left in the study with recruitment continuing until March 2020. Please contact us now if you are interested in getting involved!
We are looking for participants who:
- Are in contact with a Community Mental Health Team within Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
- Meet diagnosis for schizophrenia spectrum disorder
- Have current experiences of psychosis
- Are not deaf or severely hard of hearing (preventing the use of the audio task as part of ATT)
For further information you can visit our trial page or you can contact us if you wish to discuss anything about the trial further or to express an interest in taking part:
Nikki Dehmahdi Nikki.firstname.lastname@example.org 07500 972 844
Lydia Pearson Lydia.email@example.com 07827 903 300