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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Delusional beliefs with persecutory content are common in psychosis, but difficult to treat. Interventions targeting hypothesised causal and maintaining factors have been proposed as a way of improving therapy. The current study is a feasibility randomised controlled trial of the 'Thinking Well (TW)' intervention: This novel approach combines the recently developed Maudsley Review Training Programme (MRTP), with additional, focussed cognitive-behavioural therapy sessions. METHODS: 31 participants with distressing persecutory delusions and schizophrenia spectrum disorders were randomised to TW or to treatment as usual in a 2:1 ratio. Participants completed outcome assessments at 0 (baseline), 1 (post-MRTP), 6 (post-TW) and 8 (follow-up) weeks. Key outcomes included belief flexibility, paranoia, and delusional conviction and distress. Participants allocated to TW completed the MRTP package and four CBT sessions with a clinical psychologist. RESULTS: Recruitment proved feasible. Participants reported the intervention was relevant and had resulted in positive changes in thinking and mood, which they could use in everyday life. Treatment effects were moderate-large for key outcomes including belief flexibility, paranoia conviction and distress. The additional TW sessions appeared to confer benefits over MRTP alone. LIMITATIONS: Assessments were not carried out blind to treatment condition. Recruitment was opportunistic, from an identified pool of research participants. Finally, a few participants had already completed the MRTP as part of a previous study. CONCLUSIONS: The TW intervention appears to be feasible and acceptable to participants, and the effects of treatment are promising. A fully powered randomised controlled trial of the intervention is warranted.

Original publication




Journal article


J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry

Publication Date





82 - 89


Belief flexibility, CBT, Psychosis, Reasoning, Adult, Cognitive Therapy, Delusions, Feasibility Studies, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Paranoid Disorders, Pilot Projects, Psychotic Disorders, Thinking