Influence of childhood trauma on diagnosis and substance use in first-episode psychosis

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Abstract

Background

Childhood trauma has been significantly associated with first-episode psychosis, affective dysfunction and substance use.

Aims

To test whether people with first-episode psychosis who had experienced childhood trauma, when compared with those who had not, showed a higher rate of affective psychosis and an increased lifetime rate of substance use.

Method

The sample comprised 345 participants with first-episode psychosis (58% male, mean age 29.8 years, s.d. = 9.7).

Results

Severe sexual abuse was significantly associated with a diagnosis of affective psychosis (χ2 = 4.9, P = 0.04) and with higher rates of lifetime use of cannabis (68% v. 41%; P = 0.02) and heroin (20% v. 5%; P = 0.02). Severe physical abuse was associated with increased lifetime use of heroin (15% v. 5%; P = 0.03) and cocaine (32% v. 17%; P = 0.05).

Conclusions

Patients with first-episode psychosis exposed to childhood trauma appear to constitute a distinctive subgroup in terms of diagnosis and lifetime substance use.

Declaration of interest

None.

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