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Dr Ryan Balzan

BPsych Adel, PhD Adel.

Associate Investigator

Contact Details

Phone : +61 8 82013082
email : ryan.balzan@flinders.edu.au
Homepage : http://www.flinders.edu.au/people/ryan.balzan
ORCID : http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2007-4317

External Address

School of Psychology
Flinders University

Profile

My area of research is within the field of cognitive neuropsychiatry, which applies the knowledge base of cognitive psychology to the study of psychiatric symptoms, such as delusional beliefs. My research has focussed on the role that cognitive biases (i.e., problematic thinking styles) play in the development and maintenance of delusions, both in individuals with schizophrenia and in those identified as "delusion-prone" (i.e., people with mild delusional beliefs or tendencies).

Currently, I am investigating the efficacy of a novel psychotherapy designed specifically for people with schizophrenia entitled “metacognitive training” (MCT). The MCT approach targets the cognitive biases that contribute to delusion formation and maintenance, and, in turn, aims to alleviate the severity of delusions in people with schizophrenia, whilst also improving level of insight and satisfaction with life. I am also investigating the efficacy of cognitive remediation treatments, designed to improve the cognitive functioning of people with schizophrenia.

Recent Grants Awarded

  • Trevor Prescott Memorial Scholarship (2013) "Maximising the effectiveness of psychological treatments for delusions." Balzan, R.P. ($17,000)
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (Flinders University) (2013 - 2015) "Maximising the effectiveness of psychological treatment for delusions in schizophrenia: Combining metacognitive and cognitive-behavioural therapy." Balzan, R.P. ($250,000)

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

  • Balzan, R.P., Moritz, S., & Schneider, B. (In Press). Metacognitive training and metacognitive therapy: Targeting cognitive biases. In C. Cupitt (Ed.), CBT for Psychosis: Process-Orientated Therapies and the Third Wave. East Sussex: Routledge.
  • Chen, J., Crome, E., Cox, S., Byrow, Y., Kanai, Y., Johnstone, K., Balzan, R., Peters, L., Wong, Q., Baillie, A., & Hofmann, S. (In Press). Broadening the research areas on social anxiety disorder. In R. Menzies, M. Kyrios, & N. Kazantzis (Eds.), Innovations and Future Directions in the Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies. Samford Valley: Australian Academic Press.
  • Balzan, R.P., Woodward, T.S., Menon, M., & Moritz, S. (2014). Non-pharmacological treatment targeting cognitive biases underlying delusions in schizophrenia: Metacognitive training and therapy. In N. Galbraith (Ed.), Aberrant Beliefs and Reasoning (pp. 154-170). Hove, UK: Psychology Press.
  • Woodward, T.S., Balzan, R.P., Menon, M., & Moritz, S. (2014). Metacognitive training and therapy: An individualised and group intervention for psychosis. In P.H. Lysaker, G. Dimaggio, & M. Brüne (Eds.), Social Cognition and Metacognition in Schizophrenia: Psychopathology and Treatment Approaches (pp. 179-189). Waltham, USA: Elsevier.

Periodicals

  • Balzan, R.P. (2017). Can cognitive remediation improve subsequent response to low-intensity cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis in people with schizophrenia? Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 51(2), 190-195. doi:10.1177/0004867416676367
  • Balzan, R.P., & Moritz, S. (2017). Introduction to the special issue on cognition and delusions: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 56, 1-3.
  • Balzan, R.P., Ephraums, R., Delfabbro, P., & Andreou, C. (2017). Beads task vs box task: The specificity of the jumping to conclusions bias. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 56, 42-50. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2016.07.017
  • Broyd, A., Balzan, R.P., Woodward, T.S., & Allen, P. (2017). Dopamine, cognitive biases and assessment of certainty: A neurocognitive model of delusions. Clinical Psychology Review, 54, 96-106. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2017.04.006
  • Galletly, C., Dhillon, V.S., Liu, D., Balzan, R.P., Hahn, L.A., & Fenech, M.F. (In Press). Shorter telomere length in people with schizophrenia: A preliminary study from Australia. Schizophrenia Research. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2017.03.007
  • Gaweda, L., Staszkiewicz, M., & Balzan, R.P. (2017). The relationship between cognitive biases and psychological dimensions of delusions: The importance of jumping to conclusions. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 56, 51-56. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2016.08.003
  • Johnstone, K.M., Chen, J., & Balzan, R.P. (2017). An investigation into the jumping-to-conclusions bias in social anxiety. Consciousness and Cognition, 48, 55-65. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2016.10.012
  • McLean, B.F., Mattiske, J.K., & Balzan, R.P. (2017). Association of the jumping to conclusions and evidence integration biases with delusions in psychosis: A detailed meta-analysis. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 43(2), 344-354. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbw056
  • Menon, M., Balzan, R.P., Harper-Romeo, K., Kumar, D., Anderson, D., Moritz, S., & Woodwards, T.S. (2017). Psychosocial approaches in the treatment of psychosis. Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses, 11(3), 156-163. doi:10.3371/CSRP.MEBA.022015
  • Moritz, S., Goritz, A., Balzan, R.P., Kulagin, S., Gaweda, L., & Andreou, C. (2017). A new paradigm to measure probabilistic reasoning and a possible answer to the question why psychosis-prone individuals jump to conclusions. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 126(4), 406-415. doi:10.1037/abn0000262
  • Moritz, S., Ludtke, T., Pfuhl, G., Balzan, R., & Andreou, C. (In Press). Liberal acceptance as a cognitive mechanism in Psychosis: a 2-step-theory on the pathogenesis of positive symptoms in schizophrenia. Verhaltenstherapie. doi:10.1159/000464256
  • Moritz, S., Pfuhl, G., Ludtke, T., Menon, M., Balzan, R.P., & Andreou, C. (2017). A two-stage cognitive theory of the positive symptoms of psychosis: Highlighting the role of lowered decision thresholds. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 56, 12-20. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2016.07.004
  • Balzan, R.P. (2016). Overconfidence in psychosis: The foundation of delusional conviction? Cogent Psychology, 3(1), 1135855. doi:10.1080/23311908.2015.1135855
  • Balzan, R.P., Woodward, T.S., Delfabbro, P., & Moritz, S. (2016). Overconfidence across the psychosis continuum: A calibration approach. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 21(6), 510-524. doi:10.1080/13546805.2016.1240072
  • Moritz, S., Balzan, R.P., Bohn, F., Veckenstedt, R., Kolbeck, K., Bierbrodt, J., & Dietrichkeit, M. (2016). Subjective versus objective cognition: Evidence for poor metacognitive monitoring in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 178(1-3), 74-79. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2016.08.021
  • Moritz, S., Werner, D., Menon, M., Balzan, R.P., & Woodward, T.S. (2016). Jumping to negative conclusions – a case of study-gathering bias?: A reply by the developers of metacognitive training (MCT) to the meta-analysis of van Oosterhout et al (2015). Psychological Medicine, 46(1), 59-61. doi:10.1017/S0033291715002068
  • Moritz, S., Woodward, T.S., & Balzan, R. (2016). Is metacognitive training for psychosis effective? Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 16(2), 105-107. doi:10.1586/14737175.2016.1135737
  • Weinberg, D., Lenroot, R., Jacomb, I., Allen, K., Bruggemann, J., Wells, R., Balzan, R.P., Liu, D., Galletly, C., Catts, S., Weickert, C.S., & Weickert, T.W. (2016). Cognitive subtypes of schizophrenia characterized by differential brain volumetric reductions and cognitive decline. JAMA Psychiatry, 73(12), 1251-1259. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.2925
  • Andreou, C., Schneider, B.C., Balzan, R.P., Luedecke, D., Roesch-Ely, D., & Moritz, S. (2015). Neurocognitive deficits are relevant for the jumping-to-conclusions bias, but not for delusions: A longitudinal study. Schizophrenia Research: Cognition, 2(1), 8-11. doi:10.1016/j.scog.2015.02.001
  • Lam, K.C.K., Ho, C.P.S., Wa, J.C., Chan, S.M.Y., Yam, K.K.N., Yeung, O.S.F., Wong, W.C.H., & Balzan, R.P. (2015). Metacognitive training (MCT) for schizophrenia improves cognitive insight: A randomized controlled trial in a Chinese sample with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 64, 38-42. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2014.11.008
  • Moritz, S., Endlich, L., Mayer, H., Andreou, C., Ramdani, N., Petermann, F., & Balzan, R.P. (2015). The benefits of doubt: Cognitive bias correction training reduces hasty decision-making in schizophrenia. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 39(5), 627-635.
  • Weickert, T.W., Weinberg, D., Lenroot, R., Catts, S.V., Wells, R., Vercammen, A., O'Donnell, M., Galletly, C., Liu, D., Balzan, R.P., Short, B., Pellen, D., Curtis, J., Carr, V.J., Kulkarni, J., Schofield, P.R., & Weickert, C.S. (2015). Adjunctive raloxifene treatment improves attention and memory in men and women with schizophrenia. Molecular Psychiatry, 20, 685-694. doi:10.1038/mp.2015.11
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P.H., Galletly, C.A., & Woodward, T.S. (2014). Metacognitive training for patients with schizophrenia: Preliminary evidence for a targeted single-module programme. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48, 1126-1136. doi:10.1177/0004867413508451
  • Balzan, R.P., Neaves, A., Denson, L.A., Liu, D., & Galletly, C. (2014). Cognitive deficit awareness in schizophrenia: Absent, intact, or somewhere in-between? Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 19(6), 471-484. doi://10.1080/13546805.2014.909311
  • Moritz, S., Andreou, C., Schneider, B.C., Wittekind, C.E., Menon, M., Balzan, R.P., & Woodward, T.S. (2014). Sowing the seeds of doubt: A narrative review on metacognitive training in schizophrenia. Clinical Psychology Review, 34(4), 358-366. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2014.04.004
  • Sanford, N., Veckenstedt, R., Moritz, S., Balzan, R.P., & Woodward, T.S. (2014). Impaired integration of disambiguating evidence in delusional schizophrenia patients. Psychological Medicine, 44(13), 2729-2738. doi://10.1017/S0033291714000397
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P.H., Galletly, C., & Woodward, T.S. (2013). Illusory correlations and control across the psychosis continuum: The contribution of hypersalient evidence-hypothesis matches. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 201, 319-327. doi:10.1097/NMD.0b013e318288e229
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P.H., Galletly, C., & Woodward, T.S. (2013). Confirmation biases across the psychosis continuum: The contribution of hypersalient evidence-hypothesis matches. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 52(1), 53-69. doi:10.1111/bjc.12000
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P.H., & Galletly, C. (2012). Delusion-proneness or miscomprehension? A re-examination of the jumping to conclusions bias. Australian Journal of Psychology, 64, 100-107. doi:10.1111/j.1742-9536.2011.00032.x
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P.H., Galletly, C., & Woodward, T.S. (2012). Reasoning heuristics across the psychosis continuum: The contribution of hypersalient evidence-hypothesis matches. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 17, 431-450. doi:10.1080/13546805.2012.663901
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P.H., Galletly, C., & Woodward, T.S. (2012). Over-adjustment or miscomprehension? A re-examination of the jumping to conclusions bias. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 46, 532-540. doi:10.1177/0004867411435291

Conference Presentations, Colloquia, and other presentations

  • Balzan, R. (2017, May). Metacognitive Therapy (MCT+) for psychosis: A trial update. Invited paper presented at the Beckfest, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Balzan, R. (2017, March). Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for psychosis. Presentation given at the The Sydney Handbook of Schizophrenia Project (Webinar Series), The University of Sydney.
  • Balzan, R. (2016, August). Metacognitive therapy (MCT+) for psychosis. Poster session presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, The Fairmont Resort, Leura.
  • McLean, B.F., Mattiske, J.K., & Balzan, R.P. (2016, August). Cognitive biases may contribute towards delusions - a meta-analysis. Poster session presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, The Fairmont Resort, Leura.
  • Balzan, R. (2016, June). Metacognitive therapy (MCT+) for psychosis. Paper presented at the 8th World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies, Melbourne.
  • Balzan, R. (2015, November). Cognitive biases and delusions: From metacognitive training to beads, boxes, and BADE (and back again). Paper presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • McLean, B.F., Mattiske, J.K., & Balzan, R.P. (2015, November). Delusions are partly caused by cognitive biases: A meta-analysis. Poster session presented at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders Annual Workshop, Macquarie University, Sydney.
  • Balzan, R. (2015, October). Metacognitive training for psychosis. Presentation given at the Rural & Remote Academic Meeting for consultant psychiatrists and junior doctors, Glenside Hospital, Adelaide.
  • Balzan, R. (2015, October). Metacognitive training for psychosis. Presentation given at the Rural Psychology Forum, Adelaide.
  • Balzan, R., & Galletl, C. (2015, September). Maximising the effectiveness of psychological treatments for schizophrenia: Metacognitive Therapy (MCT+). Paper presented at the Australasian Schizophrenia Conference, Melbourne.
  • Balzan, R. (2013, November). Maximising the effectiveness of psychological treatments for schizophrenia: The Metacognitive Training (MCT) program. Paper presented at the 7th Australian Cognitive Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Research Forum (ACNCN), Sydney.

Further Information

Contact Details

Telephone: +61 2 9850 4127
Email : ccd@mq.edu.au
Web : www.ccd.edu.au

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