BACKGROUND: Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM) has been used successfully as a computer-based intervention in disorders such as anxiety. However, CBM to modify interpretations of ambiguous information relevant to paranoia has not yet been tested. We conducted a qualitative investigation of a novel intervention called CBM for paranoia (CBM-pa) to examine its acceptability in patients with psychosis.

METHODS: Eight participants with psychosis who completed CBM-pa were identified by purposive sampling and invited for a semi-structured interview to explore the facilitators and barriers to participation, optimum form of delivery, perceived usefulness of CBM-pa and their opinions on applying CBM-pa as a computerised intervention. The interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis by researchers working in collaboration with service users.

RESULTS: Themes emerged relating to participants' perception about delivery, engagement, programme understanding, factors influencing experience, perceived impact and application of CBM-pa. CBM-pa was regarded as easy, straightforward and enjoyable. It was well-accepted among those we interviewed, who understood the procedure as a psychological intervention. Patients reported that it increased their capacity for adopting alternative interpretations of emotionally ambiguous scenarios. Although participants all agreed on the test-like nature of the current CBM-pa format, they considered that taking part in sessions had improved their overall wellbeing. Most of them valued the computer-based interface of CBM-pa but favoured the idea of combining CBM-pa with some form of human interaction.

CONCLUSIONS: CBM-pa is an acceptable intervention that was well-received by our sample of patients with paranoia. The current findings reflect positively on the acceptability and experience of CBM-pa in the target population. Patient opinion supports further development and testing of CBM-pa as a possible adjunct treatment for paranoia.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN: 90749868 . Retrospectively registered on 12 May 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Article number225
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2019


  • Cognitive bias modification
  • Interpretation bias
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Qualitative research


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