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Tuesday, October 9 • 3:20pm - 3:30pm
Oral 09, Talk 4. "Using Virtual Worlds to Deliver Social Cognitive Therapy in Psychosis"

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Andrew Thompson1, Farah Elahi1, Alba Realpe1,2, Sandra Bucci3, David Taylor4, Ivo Vlaev1, Fiona Leahy1, Caroline Falconer5, Max Birchwood1; 1University of Warwick, k, 2University of Bristol, UK, 3University of Manchester, UK, 4Imperial College, London, UK, 5University College London, UK
Introduction Problems with social cognition are common in people with a diagnosis of psychosis. We have previously developed a group intervention to improve these skills in young people with early psychosis. However, there were barriers to people attending a group and interacting with others in this environment. We aimed to adapt this intervention and deliver it in a widely used computer virtual world (Second Life) to see if this is acceptable and feasible in this population. Method We co-designed a virtual world environment and the intervention (SCIT or Social Cognition Interaction Training) with user consultants and software designers. The resulting intervention was delivered over 5 weeks to groups of 4 individuals with Early Psychosis. Our outcomes of interest were measures of engagement and acceptability. Acceptability was measured by group attendance rates and by information derived from post intervention qualitative interviews. We also measured social cognition and social functioning and measures of immersion in the virtual world. We planned to recruit 5 groups over a 6-month period. Results Preliminary results and details of outcome of the co-design process will be discussed. Preliminary results on recruitment and feasibility will be presented. The potential benefits and risks of using such technology to treat difficulties in social cognition in this patient group will be discussed. Conclusions With the initial results we will be able to consider the benefits and risks of using virtual worlds in therapy and how this may be used in other disorders or for other therapeutic approaches in psychosis.


Tuesday October 9, 2018 3:20pm - 3:30pm EDT
St. George AB Westin Copley Place, third floor