• Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Managing Unusual Sensory Experiences (MUSE): A feasibility trial of a targeted, psycho-education toolkit for distressing hallucinations, in people with an At Risk Mental State (ARMS) for psychosis.



  • Contact name

    Guy Dodgson

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS FT

  • ISRCTN Number


  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 5 months, 30 days

  • Research summary

    People who have hallucinations may receive a diagnosis of ‘Psychosis’. The early stage of psychosis is called ‘At Risk Mental State’ (ARMS). We want to reduce distress for people with ARMS, prevent hallucinations becoming more serious and improve functioning.

    Our treatment, Managing Unusual Sensory Experiences (MUSE), helps people understand why hallucinations happen. It helps people to develop ways of reducing their distress. It is short (4–6 one-hour weekly sessions) and runs on laptops. Psychological therapists present and discuss information about why people have hallucinations, using images and video-clips.

    Design and methods:
    We will ask people with ARMS to volunteer, hoping 88 will agree. All will receive normal NHS care. Half will also receive MUSE from a psychological therapist. We will assess everyone before and after treatment, and three months later using a few measures.

    The study will tell us whether people take part and complete all the measures. We will ask people what they thought of the treatment and our research. Some of our measures will ask how MUSE changed the mental processes that cause hallucinations. We think hallucinations can be explained in two ways:

     People believing that experiences in their own head (like their thoughts or memories) are actually other people speaking in the real world.

     People looking for signs they are in danger, and mistakenly experiencing what they expect to happen as if it really happened.

    We want to find out if MUSE works and also if our understanding of what causes hallucinations is right. If people like the treatment, and find it helpful, we will do a larger piece of research to be sure the treatment works. Then we will share the treatment with other mental health teams.

  • REC name

    North East - Newcastle & North Tyneside 1 Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    21 Feb 2023

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion

Shape the future of the HRA website.