Visual Hallucinations in Older People
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Visual Hallucinations in Older People: Appraisals but not Content or Phenomenology Influence Distress
Article in Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy -1(6):1-6 · November 2015 with 21 Reads
Stephanie Lai Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
Daniel Collerton Newcastle University
Background: A previous study (Gauntlett-Gilbert and Kuipers, 2005) has suggested that distress associated with complex visual hallucinations (CVHs) in younger adults with psychosis may more strongly relate to appraisals of meaning than to the content of the hallucination. However, visual hallucinations are most commonly seen in the disorders of later life, where this relationship has not been investigated.
Aim: To establish if there is a relationship between appraisals of CVHs and distress in older, non-psychotic people with CVHs.
Method: All variables were measured using a semi-structured interview and were compared between a high distress group (n = 16) and a low distress group (n = 19).
Results: The high distress group rated their hallucinations as more malevolent and omnipotent, with greater negative implications for physical and mental health. There was no significant difference between groups on ratings of hallucination content (independently rated), frequency, awareness or control.
Conclusion: Appraisals of CVHs are linked to distress.