The content and characteristics of auditory hallucinations in Saudi Arabia and the UK: a cross-cultural comparison

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Abstract

This study investigated the content and characteristics of auditory hallucinations reported by 75 patients in Saudi Arabia (SA) and the UK. Each patient was asked to report on the content and characteristics of their hallucinations with regard to several dimensions, including loudness, frequency, clarity and perceived validity. In general, the characteristics of the voices did not vary between the SA and UK patients, but the content differed between cultures. Much of the content of the hallucinations of SA patients was religious and superstitious in nature, whereas instructional themes and running commentary were common in the UK patients. The results suggest that cultural differences need to be taken into account when applying psychological methods to this group of patients.

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