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Successful Treatment of Paranoia (STOP)

Developing and testing a smartphone app to help people come up with alternative explanations for situations which cause paranoid thinking

Project overview

STOP (Successful Treatment of Paranoia) follows on from the Cognitive Bias Modification for Paranoia (CBM-pa) study.  

It aims to develop and test a smartphone app-version of the approach developed in CBM-pa to help people with paranoid or threatening thoughts.    

CBM-pa was a digital programme designed to help people think about potentially paranoia-inducing situations in different ways. Using examples of everyday situations, the app will help people come up with alternative explanations which are less likely to cause paranoid thinking. 

Of 273 participants, half will be shown short sections of text that might have a paranoid or threatening interpretation and asked to complete missing letters. 

The other half will be shown sections of text that are intended to be neutral and have no obvious paranoid interpretations. People will be randomly allocated to either of these two groups.    

This study began in March 2021 and will continue for four years until February 2025. You can read more about the study on the study website:   

Watch the STOP welcome video

Project details

Paranoia is associated with a range of mental health issues, including psychosis. Psychosis can be a disabling mental health issue, and is associated with distress and problems in work, family and social functioning. 

STOP will aim to make the CBM-pa approach more accessible to a greater number of people by developing and testing a smartphone app which people can use when and where they want.   

McPin is working with researchers based at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience (IOPPN), which is part of King’s College London and Bath University. 

Our role is to provide service user involvement in the study. We support a Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) of six service users. Our Head of Public Involvement Thomas Kabir is also a co-investigator on the study. 

McPin’s input will include: 

  • Organising regular LEAP advisory meetings each year of the study 
  • Coordinating service user input for the development and user testing of the smartphone app 
  • Coordinating additional ad-hoc service user work, including testing over a hundred brief examples of situations for their readability and appropriateness, to be used in the app. 
  • Helping recruit participants  
  • Contributing to dissemination activities in the final year of the project 

Please email [email protected] for more information.  

You can read a summary of the CBM-pa project results below:

CBM-pa infographic

Project resources


Cognitive bias modification for paranoia infographic

An infographic looking at whether ‘Cognitive Bias Modification for paranoia’ (CBM-pa) be a possible new treatment to help individuals break the cycle of paranoid thinking?
Paranoia | 21st February 2023

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