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Better than mermaids and stray dogs? Subtyping auditory verbal hallucinations and its implications for research and practice.

McCarthy-Jones, S. and Thomas, N. and Strauss, C. and Dodgson, G. and Jones, N. and Woods, A. and Brewin, C. and Hayward, M. and Stephane, M. and Barton, J. and Kingdon, D. and Sommer, I. (2014) 'Better than mermaids and stray dogs? Subtyping auditory verbal hallucinations and its implications for research and practice.', Schizophrenia bulletin., 40 (Suppl 4). S275-S284.

Abstract

The phenomenological diversity of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) is not currently accounted for by any model based around a single mechanism. This has led to the proposal that there may be distinct AVH subtypes, which each possess unique (as well as shared) underpinning mechanisms. This could have important implications both for research design and clinical interventions because different subtypes may be responsive to different types of treatment. This article explores how AVH subtypes may be identified at the levels of phenomenology, cognition, neurology, etiology, treatment response, diagnosis, and voice hearer’s own interpretations. Five subtypes are proposed; hypervigilance, autobiographical memory (subdivided into dissociative and nondissociative), inner speech (subdivided into obsessional, own thought, and novel), epileptic and deafferentation. We suggest other facets of AVH, including negative content and form (eg, commands), may be best treated as dimensional constructs that vary across subtypes. After considering the limitations and challenges of AVH subtyping, we highlight future research directions, including the need for a subtype assessment tool.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:AVH, Hearing voices, Phenomenology, Schizophrenia, Symptom classification, Trauma.
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbu018
Publisher statement:© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Record Created:12 Nov 2014 10:50
Last Modified:12 Nov 2014 12:38

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