A review of multimodal hallucinations: categorization, assessment, theoretical perspectives, and clinical recommendations
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSchizophrenia Bulletin. 2021, 47 (1), 237-248. 10.1093/schbul/sbaa101
Hallucinations can occur in different sensory modalities, both simultaneously and serially in time. They have typically been studied in clinical populations as phenomena occurring in a single sensory modality. Hallucinatory experiences occurring in multiple sensory systems—multimodal hallucinations (MMHs)—are more prevalent than previously thought and may have greater adverse impact than unimodal ones, but they remain relatively underresearched. Here, we review and discuss: (1) the definition and categorization of both serial and simultaneous MMHs, (2) available assessment tools and how they can be improved, and (3) the explanatory power that current hallucination theories have for MMHs. Overall, we suggest that current models need to be updated or developed to account for MMHs and to inform research into the underlying processes of such hallucinatory phenomena. We make recommendations for future research and for clinical practice, including the need for service user involvement and for better assessment tools that can reliably measure MMHs and distinguish them from other related phenomena.