The Efficacy of Using a Personal Stereo to Treat Auditory Hallucinations. Preliminary Findings

O. Johnston
A. G. Gallagher
P. J. McMahon
D. J. King


This article presents preliminary findings from the first participant to complete an experiment assessing the efficacy of the personal stereo in treating auditory hallucinations. O.C., a 50-year-old woman, took part in a controlled treatment trial in which 1-week baseline, personal stereo, and control treatment (nonfunctioning hearing aid) stages were alternated for 7 weeks. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Clinical Global Impression Scales, Beliefs About Voices Questionnaire, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and Topography of Voices Rating Scale were used. The personal stereo led to a decrease in the severity of O.C.'s auditory hallucinations. For example, she rated her voices as being fairly distressing during baseline and control treatment stages but neutral during personal stereo stages. A slight decrease in other psychopathology also occurred during personal stereo stages. Use of the personal stereo did not lead to a decrease in self-esteem, contradicting suggestions that counterstimulation treatments for auditory hallucinations may be disempowering.