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Pleasurable auditory hallucinations

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Sanjuan J, Gonzalez JC, Aguilar EJ, Leal C, van Os J. Pleasurable auditory hallucinations.

Acta Psychiatr Scand 2004: 110: 273–278. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2004. Objective: 

The focus in auditory hallucination (AH) research is usually on the negative impact of the experience itself. There are practically no studies on whether voices can be perceived as pleasurable. The aim of the present study was to assess the frequency of voices as a pleasurable experience in a psychotic patient population. Method: 

A total of 160 patients with AHs (89 schizophrenia and 17 other psychoses) were assessed with the psychotic symptom rating scale (PSYRATS) for AHs, including an added item on whether the experience was pleasurable. Results: 

Twenty-eight patients (26%) reported the voices as a pleasurable experience and 10 of them did so frequently. Pleasurable hallucinations showed negative associations with amount and intensity of distress, degree of negative content and loudness. Positive associations were apparent with chronicity and perceived control over the voices. Conclusion: 

Pleasurable hallucinations can be detected in a substantial proportion of patients, and cross validated with existing instruments.
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Keywords: anxiety; auditory hallucinations; chronic; psychosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medicine, Psychiatric Unit, Valencia University, Valencia 2: Clinical Hospital, Valencia 3: Sagunto Hospital, Valencia, Spain 4: Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research Centre, EURON, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands, and Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK

Publication date: 2004-10-01

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