The service user experience of SlowMo therapy: A co-produced thematic analysis of service users' subjective experience

SlowMo Patient, Public Involvement (PPI) team, Kathryn E Greenwood, Megha Gurnani, Tom Ward, Evelin Vogel, Claire Vella, Alison McGourty, Sam Robertson, Catarina Sacadura, Amy Hardy, Mar Rus-Calafell, Nicola Collett, Richard Emsley, Daniel Freeman, David Fowler, Elizabeth Kuipers, Paul Bebbington, Graham Dunn, Daniel Michelson, Philippa Garety

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: SlowMo is the first blended digital therapy for paranoia, showing significant small-moderate reductions in paranoia in a recent large-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT). This study explored the subjective service-user experience of the SlowMo therapy content and design; the experience of the blended therapy approach, including the triangle of the therapeutic alliance; and the experience of the digital aspects of the intervention.

DESIGN: Qualitative co-produced sub-study of an RCT.

METHODS: Participants were 22 adult service users with schizophrenia-spectrum psychosis and persistent distressing paranoia, who completed at least one SlowMo therapy session and a 24-week follow-up, at one of 3 sites in Oxford, London, and Sussex, UK. They were interviewed by peer researchers, using a topic guide co-produced by the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team. The transcribed data were analysed thematically. Multiple coding and triangulation, and lay peer researcher validation were used to reach a consensus on the final theme structure.

RESULTS: Six core themes were identified: (i) starting the SlowMo journey; (ii) the central role of the supportive therapist; (iii) slowing things down; (iv) value and learning from social connections; (v) approaches and challenges of technology; and (vi) improvements in paranoia and well-being.

CONCLUSIONS: For these service users, slowing down for a moment was helpful, and integrated into thinking over time. Learning from social connections reflected reduced isolation, and enhanced learning through videos, vignettes, and peers. The central role of the supportive therapist and the triangle of alliance between service user, therapist, and digital platform were effective in promoting positive therapeutic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-700
Number of pages21
JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Issue number3
Early online date20 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


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