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The interaction of affective with psychotic processes: A test of the effects of worrying on working memory, jumping to conclusions, and anomalies of experience in patients with persecutory delusions

The interaction of affective with psychotic processes: A test of the effects of worrying on working memory, jumping to conclusions, and anomalies of experience in patients with persecutory delusions
The interaction of affective with psychotic processes: A test of the effects of worrying on working memory, jumping to conclusions, and anomalies of experience in patients with persecutory delusions
Worry has traditionally been considered in the study of common emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression, but recent studies indicate that worry may be a causal factor in the occurrence and persistence of persecutory delusions. The effect of worry on processes traditionally associated with psychosis has not been tested. The aim of the study was to examine the short-term effects of a bout of worry on three cognitive processes typically considered markers of psychosis: working memory, jumping to conclusions, and anomalous internal experience. Sixty-seven patients with persecutory delusions in the context of a non-affective psychotic disorder were randomised to a worry induction, a worry reduction, or a neutral control condition. They completed tests of the cognitive processes before and after the randomisation condition. The worry induction procedure led to a significant increase in worry. The induction of worry did not affect working memory or jumping to conclusions, but it did increase a range of mild anomalous experiences including feelings of unreality, perceptual alterations, and temporal disintegration. Worry did not affect the occurrence of hallucinations. The study shows that a period of worry causes a range of subtle odd perceptual disturbances that are known to increase the likelihood of delusions. It demonstrates an interaction between affective and psychotic processes in patients with delusions.

delusions, worry, paranoia, hallucinations, schizophrenia
0022-3956
Freeman, Daniel
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Startup, Helen
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Dunn, Graham
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Cernis, Emma
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Wingham, Gail
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Pugh, Katherine
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Cordwell, Jacinta
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Kingdon, David
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Freeman, Daniel
b90a2f85-f05c-40e8-a592-e1545fae654c
Startup, Helen
a1d210d2-a4d7-4c2c-bb75-32338bb5eef4
Dunn, Graham
ffc12c0e-b002-43fd-bdf7-60e17f4b4871
Cernis, Emma
385b2cb8-b30e-41cd-b9f7-4d4f1479fdac
Wingham, Gail
238517f5-1c8f-4dac-8ea5-626ade856b96
Pugh, Katherine
edab0db5-0c6e-4933-8cab-25fd48ebe3a9
Cordwell, Jacinta
fe80e3a7-e1d4-41b3-bb5d-fdb797a9e741
Kingdon, David
14cdc422-10b4-4b2d-88ec-24fde5f4329b

Freeman, Daniel, Startup, Helen, Dunn, Graham, Cernis, Emma, Wingham, Gail, Pugh, Katherine, Cordwell, Jacinta and Kingdon, David (2013) The interaction of affective with psychotic processes: A test of the effects of worrying on working memory, jumping to conclusions, and anomalies of experience in patients with persecutory delusions. Journal of Psychiatric Research. (doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.06.016). (PMID:23871449)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Worry has traditionally been considered in the study of common emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression, but recent studies indicate that worry may be a causal factor in the occurrence and persistence of persecutory delusions. The effect of worry on processes traditionally associated with psychosis has not been tested. The aim of the study was to examine the short-term effects of a bout of worry on three cognitive processes typically considered markers of psychosis: working memory, jumping to conclusions, and anomalous internal experience. Sixty-seven patients with persecutory delusions in the context of a non-affective psychotic disorder were randomised to a worry induction, a worry reduction, or a neutral control condition. They completed tests of the cognitive processes before and after the randomisation condition. The worry induction procedure led to a significant increase in worry. The induction of worry did not affect working memory or jumping to conclusions, but it did increase a range of mild anomalous experiences including feelings of unreality, perceptual alterations, and temporal disintegration. Worry did not affect the occurrence of hallucinations. The study shows that a period of worry causes a range of subtle odd perceptual disturbances that are known to increase the likelihood of delusions. It demonstrates an interaction between affective and psychotic processes in patients with delusions.

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Accepted/In Press date: 2013
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 July 2013
Keywords: delusions, worry, paranoia, hallucinations, schizophrenia
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

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Local EPrints ID: 354937
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/354937
ISSN: 0022-3956
PURE UUID: ab991d1b-a5e3-4e0b-9ef1-39f65dc6abe5

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Date deposited: 07 Aug 2013 15:14
Last modified: 14 Oct 2019 19:04

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Contributors

Author: Daniel Freeman
Author: Helen Startup
Author: Graham Dunn
Author: Emma Cernis
Author: Gail Wingham
Author: Katherine Pugh
Author: Jacinta Cordwell
Author: David Kingdon

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