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The 5 minute 'Health' read - Psychedelics, recent research (February)

I read a fair amount of research and thought some people might be interested in recent studies that I've found helpful.  I plan to write an approximately 1,200 word (5 minutes to read) blog post pretty much every week, highlighting helpful material that has emerged in the previous couple of months.  I'll rotate through six topic areas ... Lifestyle, Positive Psychology, Relationships, Ageing, Psychedelics, and Meditation.  I also plan to write occasional posts where I go into more detail about particular related subject areas. 

Here, for example, are ... Psychedelics abstracts mostly published in the last few weeks.

McAlpine, R. G., G. Blackburne, et al. (2024). Development and psychometric validation of a novel scale for measuring ‘psychedelic preparedness’. Scientific Reports 14(1): 3280.   

Preparing participants for psychedelic experiences is crucial for ensuring these experiences are safe and, potentially beneficial. However, there is currently no validated measure to assess the extent to which participants are well-prepared for such experiences. Our study aimed to address this gap by developing, validating, and testing the Psychedelic Preparedness Scale (PPS). Using a novel iterative Delphi-focus group methodology (‘DelFo’), followed by qualitative pre-test interviews, we incorporated the perspectives of expert clinicians/researchers and of psychedelic users to generate items for the scale. Psychometric validation of the PPS was carried out in two large online samples of psychedelic users (N = 516; N = 716), and the scale was also administered to a group of participants before and after a 5–7-day psilocybin retreat (N = 46). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis identified four factors from the 20-item PPS: Knowledge-Expectations, Intention-Preparation, Psychophysical-Readiness, and Support-Planning. The PPS demonstrated excellent reliability (ω = 0.954) and evidence supporting convergent, divergent and discriminant validity was also obtained. Significant differences between those scoring high and low (on psychedelic preparedness) before the psychedelic experience were found on measures of mental health/wellbeing outcomes assessed after the experience, suggesting that the scale has predictive utility. By prospectively measuring modifiable pre-treatment preparatory behaviours and attitudes using the PPS, it may be possible to determine whether a participant has generated the appropriate mental ‘set’ and is therefore likely to benefit from a psychedelic experience, or at least, less likely to be harmed.  The authors go on to write: "“Our studies provide compelling evidence for the existence of a measurable psychological state of psychedelic preparedness, which is predictive of positive acute and long-term outcomes associated with psychedelic use … revealing four distinct underlying factors of psychedelic preparedness: Knowledge-Expectations, Intention-Preparation, Psychophysical-Readiness, and Support-Planning … the PPS could serve as a valuable screening tool to identify individuals who may require additional preparation or support prior to undergoing psychedelic interventions, thereby functioning as a pre-intervention assessment to pinpoint areas of preparedness that necessitate attention. Furthermore, the PPS could serve as an outcome measure to evaluate the effectiveness of psychedelic preparedness interventions.”

More to follow ...



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