Command Hallucinations: Who Obeys and Who Resists When?

R. Erkwoh, Willmes, A. Eming-Erdmanna and H.J. Kunert, Psychopathology, 2002, 35, 272–279.

Abstract: The impact of auditory command hallucinations on the behaviour of schizophrenic patients sometimes appears to be unpredictable. In order to tackle this problem, the psychopathological characteristics of command hallucinations in 31 schizophrenic patients were assessed using a 24-item questionnaire. Using binary data and relative risk analysis methods, predictors were determined for obeying or resisting command hallucinations. Characteristics of voices and the attitude toward the voices appear equally important for prediction. A set of three psychopathological characteristics comprising a voice known to the patient, emotional involvement during the hallucinations, and seeing the voice as real provides significant predictivity of behaviour following command hallucinations. These results are interesting for clinical and forensic psychiatrists.