The acceptability, usability and short-term outcomes of Get Real: A web-based program for psychotic-like experiences (PLEs)

Stafford, Emma, Hides, Leanne, & Kavanagh, David J. (2015) The acceptability, usability and short-term outcomes of Get Real: A web-based program for psychotic-like experiences (PLEs). Internet Interventions, 2(3), pp. 266-271.

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Psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) are subclinical delusional ideas and perceptual disturbances that have been associated with a range of adverse mental health outcomes. This study reports a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the acceptability, usability and short term outcomes of Get Real, a web program for PLEs in young people.


Participants were twelve respondents to an online survey, who reported at least one PLE in the previous 3 months, and were currently distressed. Ratings of the program were collected after participants trialled it for a month. Individual semi-structured interviews then elicited qualitative feedback, which was analyzed using Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) methodology. PLEs and distress were reassessed at 3 months post-baseline.


User ratings supported the program's acceptability, usability and perceived utility. Significant reductions in the number, frequency and severity of PLE-related distress were found at 3 months follow-up. The CQR analysis identified four qualitative domains: initial and current understandings of PLEs, responses to the program, and context of its use. Initial understanding involved emotional reactions, avoidance or minimization, limited coping skills and non-psychotic attributions. After using the program, participants saw PLEs as normal and common, had greater self-awareness and understanding of stress, and reported increased capacity to cope and accept experiences. Positive responses to the program focused on its normalization of PLEs, usefulness of its strategies, self-monitoring of mood, and information putting PLEs into perspective. Some respondents wanted more specific and individualized information, thought the program would be more useful for other audiences, or doubted its effectiveness. The program was mostly used in low-stress situations.


The current study provided initial support for the acceptability, utility and positive short-term outcomes of Get Real. The program now requires efficacy testing in randomized controlled trials.

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ID Code: 91315
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: web program, internet, intervention, psychotic-like experiences, psychosis
DOI: 10.1016/j.invent.2015.05.004
ISSN: 2214-7829
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Copyright Statement: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Deposited On: 16 Dec 2015 01:33
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 15:02

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