Hearing voices (i.e., auditory verbal hallucinations) during adolescence indicates a risk for severe psychopathology, functional impairments, and suicide later in life. However, evidence-based, specialized psychological treatments for youth with distressing voices across mental disorders have been scare. The aim of the current study is to examine the efficacy of a cognitive behavioral therapy for voices (CBTv), delivered using smartphone-based Ecological Momentary Intervention (EMI), in a transdiagnostic sample of youth (14-25 years old). In a randomized controlled trial, eight weeks of CBTv-based EMI in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) is compared with TAU only, with voice-related distress after the intervention being the primary outcome. The trial offers a low-intensity psychological intervention that, using a mobile technology approach, may match the treatment preferences of young people who show low engagement with conventional mental health services. Thus, with this study we aim at making a significant contribution to early intervention for young people with distressing voices who have been an under-researched group.

For more information on the study, see the protocol paper:

Cavelti, Marialuisa; Kaeser, Janko M; Lerch, Stefan; Bauer, Stephanie; Moessner, Markus; Berger, Thomas; Hayward, Mark; Kaess, Michael (2022). Smartphone-assisted guided self-help cognitive behavioral therapy for young people with distressing voices (SmartVoices): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 23(1), p. 902. BioMed Central 10.1186/s13063-022-06846-0

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