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McCarthy-Jones S.,Macquarie University | Trauer T.,Monash University | Trauer T.,University of Melbourne | MacKinnon A.,University of Melbourne | And 4 more authors.
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2014

A comprehensive understanding of the phenomenology of auditory hallucinations (AHs) is essential for developing accurate models of their causes. Yet, only 1 detailed study of the phenomenology of AHs with a sample size of N ≥ 100 has been published. The potential for overreliance on these findings, coupled with a lack of phenomenological research into many aspects of AHs relevant to contemporary neurocognitive models and the proposed (but largely untested) existence of AH subtypes, necessitates further research in this area. We undertook the most comprehensive phenomenological study of AHs to date in a psychiatric population (N = 199; 81% people diagnosed with schizophrenia), using a structured interview schedule. Previous phenomenological findings were only partially replicated. New findings included that 39% of participants reported that their voices seemed in some way to be replays of memories of previous conversations they had experienced; 45% reported that the general theme or content of what the voices said was always the same; and 55% said new voices had the same content/theme as previous voices. Cluster analysis, by variable, suggested the existence of 4 AH subtypes. We propose that there are likely to be different neurocognitive processes underpinning these experiences, necessitating revised AH models. © 2012 The Author.

Corstens D.,RIAGG Maastricht | Longden E.,University of Leeds | McCarthy-Jones S.,Macquarie University | McCarthy-Jones S.,Durham University | And 3 more authors.
Schizophrenia Bulletin | Year: 2014

The international Hearing Voices Movement (HVM) is a prominent mental health service-user/survivor movement that promotes the needs and perspectives of experts by experience in the phenomenon of hearing voices (auditory verbal hallucinations). The main tenet of the HVM is the notion that hearing voices is a meaningful human experience, and in this article, we discuss the historical growth and influence of the HVM before considering the implications of its values for research and practice in relation to voice-hearing. Among other recommendations, we suggest that the involvement of voice-hearers in research and a greater use of narrative and qualitative approaches are essential. Challenges for implementing user-led research are identified, and avenues for future developments are discussed. © 2014 The Author.

Fitzgerald P.B.,Monash University | Fitzgerald P.B.,Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Center | Hoy K.,Monash University | Gunewardene R.,Mosman Private Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Psychological Medicine | Year: 2011

Background Although several studies have reported that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment has demonstrable efficacy in patients with depression, the parameters needed to optimize therapeutic efficacy remain unclear. To this end we determined the efficacy of low-frequency right rTMS to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) compared to two forms of bilateral rTMS to the DLPFC: (1) sequential low-frequency right-sided followed by high-frequency left-sided rTMS and (2) sequential low-frequency rTMS to both hemispheres.Method A total of 219 patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) were randomized to a 4-week course of rTMS applied with one of the three treatment conditions. Outcomes were assessed with standard rating scales.Results Overall, slightly more than 50% of the patients achieved clinical response criteria. There was no substantial difference in response between the unilateral and bilateral treatment groups. Successful response to rTMS was predicted by a greater degree of baseline depression severity.Conclusions There is no substantial difference in efficacy between unilateral right-sided rTMS and the two forms of bilateral rTMS assessed in the study. Furthermore, our results call into question the specificity between frequency and laterality and rTMS response. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.

Naim-Feil J.,Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Center | Naim-Feil J.,Monash University | Zangen A.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev
Handbook of Clinical Neurology | Year: 2013

Drug and alcohol addiction is a debilitating disorder characterized by persistent drug-seeking behaviors despite negative physiological, medical, or social consequences. Neurobiological models of addiction propose that the reinforcing effects of addictive drugs are associated with altered neurotransmission within the reward 'mesocorticolimbic' circuitry in the brain. Immense efforts are therefore designed to target the mesocorticolimbic circuitry in attenuating drug dependence and addiction-related behaviors. Yet, to date, most addiction treatments have demonstrated only limited success in reducing addiction-related behaviors. Accumulating and compelling evidence suggests that novel nonsurgical brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation, could serve as promising tools for indexing altered neurotransmission associated with repetitive drug use, and moreover, may hold therapeutic potential for the treatment of drug dependence and addiction-related behaviors. This chapter reviews and discusses the current and potential applications of such techniques in the study and treatment of addiction; we focus on a number of common drugs of abuse, including nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, and ecstasy. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Whitecross F.,Alfred Psychiatry | Seeary A.,Alfred Psychiatry | Lee S.,Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Center
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing | Year: 2013

Despite the accumulation of evidence demonstrating patients' accounts of trauma associated with seclusion, the use of evidence-based post-seclusion debriefing is not apparent in the published work. This study aimed to identify the impacts seclusion has on an individual using the Impact of Events - Revised (IES-R), a standardized and widely used measure of trauma symptoms, and measure the effectiveness of a post-seclusion counselling intervention in mitigating the experience of seclusion-related trauma and reducing time spent in seclusion. The study design involved a comparison of the seclusion-related trauma and time in seclusion that was experienced by consenting patients managed on the two inpatient wards of Alfred Psychiatry. To investigate the efficacy of post-seclusion counselling to reduce event-related trauma as well as the use of seclusion, a brief single-session intervention was piloted comparing outcomes for patients treated on a ward implementing semistructured post-seclusion counselling and patients treated on a ward continuing with post-seclusion support as usual. A total of 31 patients consented to participate, with approximately 47% reporting trauma symptoms consistent with 'probable post-traumatic stress disorder' (IES-R total score, >33), although there was no difference in trauma experience between groups. Significantly fewer hours were spent in seclusion for patients treated on the ward piloting the post-seclusion counselling intervention. Findings, therefore, highlight not only the potential for significant trauma stemming from a seclusion event, but also the capacity for the implementation of such interventions as post-seclusion counselling to raise awareness of the need to minimize time spent in seclusion for patients. © 2013 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.

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