Background: Identifying variables that influence daily-life fluctuations in auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) provides insight into potential mechanisms and targets for intervention. Network analysis, that uses time-series data collected by Experience Sampling Method (ESM), could be used to examine relations between multiple variables over time. Methods: 95 daily voice-hearing individuals filled in a short questionnaire ten times a day for six consecutive days at pseudo-random moments. Using multilevel vector auto-regression, relations between voice-hearing and negative affect, positive affect, uncontrollable thoughts, dissociation, and paranoia were analysed in three types of networks: between-subjects (between persons, undirected), contemporaneous (within persons, undirected), and temporal (within persons, directed) networks. Strength centrality was measured to identify the most interconnected variables in the models. Results: Voice-hearing co-occurred with all variables, while on a 6-day period voice-hearing was only related to uncontrollable thoughts. Voice-hearing was not predicted by any of the factors, but it did predict uncontrollable thoughts and paranoia. All variables showed large autoregressions, i.e. mainly predicted themselves in this severe voice-hearing sample. Uncontrollable thoughts was the most interconnected factor, though relatively uninfluential. Discussion: Severe voice-hearing might be mainly related to mental state factors on the short-term. Once activated, voice-hearing appears to maintain itself. It is important to assess possible reactivity of AVH to triggers at the start of therapy; if reactive, therapy should focus on the triggering factor. If not reactive, Cognitive Behavioural interventions could be used first to reduce the negative effects of the voices. Limitations are discussed.
- Auditory verbal hallucinations
- Experience sampling method
- Network analysis
- Voice hearing