SlowMo therapy helps treat paranoid thoughts in people who have psychosis

A new clinical trial by the King’s College Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience in London, in collaboration with Oxford University, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Sussex University and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has established innovative therapy as an effective treatment for paranoia. thoughts in people who have psychosis.

In a study published in JAMA Psychiatry today, participants in the SlowMo therapy trial had eight face-to-face sessions supported by an interactive web platform and application. The app, designed in collaboration with people suffering from psychosis and the Royal College of Art, is used outside the clinic to help individuals feel safer in everyday life.

Paranoia is fueled by “quick thinking”; a style of thinking guided by the instincts and feelings of the gut. Slowing down can help. SlowMo starts by supporting people to notice their quick thoughts, visualizing them as gray, fast-spinning bubbles. People learn to slow down for a moment using tips and personalized safer thoughts.

In this trial, we have shown that helping people slow down their thinking, which is a simple idea, but very difficult to achieve without help, reduces paranoia in everyday life and improves the quality of life and well-being. This is made possible by designing a short therapy that uses a powerful combination of therapy sessions and a personalized application. It is effective at least as long-lasting and as complex psychological treatments for paranoia, which are generally more challenging and often not available in clinical services. The results of this study were extremely exciting and point the way to exploiting digital technology in the service of developing more effective treatments in the future. “

Professor Philippa Garety, lead researcher at SlowMo of King’s IoPPN

The trial involved 362 people from three NHS Foundation foundations, with half receiving SlowMo therapy and routine care, while the other half continued to provide them with routine care. Over six months, patients were measured for several outcomes, including their ability to slow thinking. At the end of the trial, the group that received SlowMo showed a reduced level of paranoia and anxiety, no longer reaching the threshold for persecuting beliefs, and reported significant improvements in their well-being and quality of life.

Sam, who lives with psychosis and participated in the study, said: “Focusing on fast and slow thinking has really helped. Urine that helps the eye has taught me that I can complete the worry cycle and not have to think fast and start panicking. I have it now for the rest of my life. Now all my worries are reduced by SlowMo and I have a freedom and peace that I did not have before. ” The team now has the resources to develop SlowMo so it can be tested in routine NHS services.

Dr Amy Hardy, digital presenter for SlowMo of King’s IoPPN, said: “People may find it difficult to use traditional therapies, and we are pleased that the trial showed that SlowMo’s design overcame common barriers to engagement and efficiency. It had high usage rates and satisfaction, and we have worked equally well for a wide range of people. We are now working on developing SlowMo to make this available therapy widely available in the NHS ”.


Journal reference:

Garety, P., and others. (2021) Effects of SlowMo, a mixed rationale for targeted digital therapy, on paranoia among people with psychosis Randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry.