Emotional processing and psychological disorders

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dorset healthcare
Dorset HealthCare

Emotional Processing and psychological disorders

Dorset HealthCare NHS Trust, Poole Hospital NHS Trust

Poole hospital
 Poole Hospital

This study was conducted by Professor Roger Baker, Mr Matthew Owens and Ms Jane Holloway in collaboration with Dr Sarah Thomas, Professor Peter Thomas and Mr Tim Hollingbery.


The aim is:

To compare the emotional processing deficit profiles of patients with different psychiatric disorders to a normative sample.

To measure emotional processing pre and post cognitive therapy to assess any emotional processing change during the course of therapy.

To test the concurrent validity of the Emotional Processing Scale as an outcome measure against psychiatric symptom scales and other measures of emotion. 

So far, we have compared the following diagnostic conditions: anxiety disorders, depression, personality disorder. We found patients had deficits in emotional processing compared to a normative sample. Post cognitive therapy there were improvements in emotional processing as indexed by the EPS & the TAS-20. There were also improvements in psychiatric symptoms as measured by the BSI. As expected change in the EPS correlated with TAS-20 and, to a lesser degree, BSI changed. It was concluded that the EPS is sensitive to change and provides a reliable and valid outcome measure of therapeutic efficacy in relation to emotional processing.  We are gathering more data on patients with anorexia nervosa and post traumatic stress disorder. Psychological disorders

Baker, R., Whittlesea, A., Owens, M., Thomas, P.W., Gower, P., Tosunlar, L. and Thomas, S. (In preparation) How emotional is cognitive therapy? A new method for assessing emotional processing change during therapy. Behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy.