Web-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for auditory hallucinations in persons with psychosis: a pilot study

Schizophr Res. 2013 Apr;145(1-3):82-7. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2013.01.002. Epub 2013 Feb 12.


CBT for Psychosis (CBTp) is an empirically-supported intervention for schizophrenia, but few people have access to it in the U.S. "Coping with Voices" is an interactive, computerized self-directed web-based CBTp program developed to increase access to CBTp with the objective of reducing the severity, distress, and functional impairment caused by auditory hallucinations. This open pilot study tested the feasibility and effects of this new intervention. Twenty-one individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and auditory hallucinations were enrolled in the individual-based 10-session Coping with Voices program at one of 4 community mental health centers. High levels of participant satisfaction with the program were found, with most reporting that the program was engaging and helped them manage their symptoms. Seventeen participants (81%) completed more than 50% of the scheduled program sessions (i.e., 6 or more sessions), and were defined as "exposed" to the program. Exposed participants showed statistically significant reductions from baseline to post-treatment in several measures of auditory hallucinations, including overall severity and the perception of voices as an "outside entity" and intensity of "negative commentary," as well as reductions in other psychotic symptoms, and overall psychopathology. This study supports the feasibility of the web-based Coping with Voices program and its potential clinical benefits, and suggests that more rigorous research is warranted to evaluate its effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Hallucinations / etiology*
  • Hallucinations / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / complications*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult