Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Persistent auditory hallucinations: coping mechanisms and implications for management

Ian R. H. Falloona1 c1 and Ralph E. Talbota1

a1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA


The strategies used by 40 chronic schizophrenic out-patients with persistent auditory hallucinations to cope with the intrusive phenomena were explored. Frequent coping mechanisms included changes in activity, interpersonal contact, manipulations of physiological arousal, and attentional control. A high risk of suicide was noted.

Coping behaviour appeared somewhat independent of clinical and sociodemographic variables. Successful coping appeared to result from systematic application of widely used coping strategies. The implications for the clinical management of patients with persistent auditory hallucinations are discussed.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Ian R. H. Falloon, Department of Psychiatry, University of Southern California, 1934 Hospital Place, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA