Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) constitute a frequent and distressing symptom of schizophrenia, associated with physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges. Despite their clinical importance, changes in the multiple dimensions of AVHs during treatment have rarely been examined, and subjective views thereof have received minimal attention. Here, we evaluated 87 patients with schizophrenia-related AVHs using the Hamilton Program for Schizophrenia Voices Questionnaire (HPSVQ; a self-report questionnaire) and the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales-Auditory Hallucination Subscale (PSYRATS-AH; a clinician-rated scale) at baseline and after 6 months and 1 year of treatment. We explored dimensions that changed from the perspectives of both clinicians and patients and the relationships between these perceptions over the year. The test–retest reliabilities of the HPSVQ and PSYRATS-AH were generally fair. Improvements in AVHs were evident over the first 6 months; the PSYRATS-AH revealed a broader range of symptom improvement than did the HPSVQ. The “interference with life” dimension on the HPSVQ was not reduced, but the “disruption to life” score on the PSYRATS-AH was. At both baseline and 6 months, the physical characteristics of AVHs (frequency, duration, and loudness) were significantly correlated with both distress and life interference/disruption; all correlations except that for frequency were reduced at 1 year. The clinician-rated and self-reported personal perspectives on AVHs exhibited both differences and similarities; physical AVH components and subjective distressful experiences changed in different ways in those with chronic, persistent AVHs. The HPSVQ and PSYRATS-AH data were complementary, improving our understanding of the clinical implications of AVHs and subjective patient distress.
|Journal||Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry|
|State||Published - 20 Dec 2019|
- Auditory verbal hallucination
- Hamilton program for schizophrenia voices questionnaire
- Psychotic symptom rating scales