Comparison of a theoretically driven cognitive therapy (the Feeling Safe Programme) with befriending for the treatment of persistent persecutory delusions: a parallel, single-blind, randomised controlled trial


The Feeling Safe Programme led to a significant reduction in persistent persecutory delusions compared with befriending. To our knowledge, these are the largest treatment effects seen for patients with persistent delusions. The principal limitation of our trial was the relatively small sample size when comparing two active treatments, meaning less precision in effect size estimates and lower power to detect moderate treatment differences in secondary outcomes. Further research could be done to determine whether greater effects could be possible by reducing the hypothesised delusion maintenance mechanisms further. The Feeling Safe Programme could become the recommended psychological treatment in clinical services for persecutory delusions.