Year: 2023 Source: Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice. (2023). 00, 1–17. SIEC No: 20230805
Objectives Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide. People experiencing psychosis are at increased risk of death by suicide. Talking therapies can alleviate suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts. Therapies need to also be acceptable to recipients. The aim of this study was to investigate the views on psychological therapy for people experiencing psychosis and suicidality using the Theoretical Framework of Acceptability. Design Qualitative interview study. Methods Participants were recruited from a randomised controlled trial comparing suicide prevention psychological therapy with treatment as usual. Individuals had a diagnosis of non-affective psychosis and experience of suicidal thoughts, plans and/or attempts. To assess the acceptability of the therapy, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 participants randomised to receive therapy. Data were deductively analysed using an adaptation of the Theoretical Framework of Acceptability. Results Interviews (Mean = 45 min) were conducted and audio recorded with 21 participants. Data were organised into six themes: 1. Affective attitude, 2. Burden, 3. Alliance, 4. Intervention coherence, 5. Perceived effectiveness, and 6. Self-efficacy. There was no evidence of issues relating to domains of ethicality and opportunity costs associated with receiving therapy. Conclusions Talking about suicide was difficult and, at times, distressing, but it was perceived to be useful for understanding experiences. To be acceptable, it is important for therapists to ensure that clients' understanding of therapy aligns with expectations of effectiveness and to invest in building strong therapeutic alliances. Future research will benefit from examining therapists' experiences of delivering therapy through different modes (e.g. online, telephone).