Prevalence and Clinical Impact of Childhood Trauma in Patients With Severe Mental Disorders

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A high prevalence of childhood abuse has been reported in patients with severe mental illness. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 102 patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder. Social, demographic, and clinical data were obtained. Patients were evaluated using Brief Psychotic Relative Scale, and Traumatic Life Events and Distressing Event questionnaires. Almost half (47.5%) of these patients had suffered some kind of child abuse, and our results confirmed a relationship between a history of childhood abuse and more severe psychosis. Diagnosis of schizophrenia was determined 4.1 years earlier in victims of childhood abuse. Hospital admissions were twice as high in victims of psychological abuse. Patients with a history of sexual abuse were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide (68% vs. 28.9%).

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