Perceptual abnormalities in an ultra-high risk for psychosis population relationship to trauma and co-morbid disorder

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Abstract

Aims

The aims of this study were 3-fold. We wished to investigate whether at baseline entry to an ultra-high risk (UHR) clinic whether: (1) perceptual abnormalities are more prevalent in those young people with co-morbid psychiatric diagnoses, (2) perceptual abnormalities are more prevalent in those young people with histories of childhood adversity (childhood trauma, bullying) and (3) perceptual abnormality type is associated with co-morbid psychiatric diagnoses or histories of childhood adversity.

Methods

In a sample of 118 UHR patients we investigated the relationship between perceptual abnormalities and non-psychotic diagnoses and adverse life events at entry to a UHR clinic.

Results

Depressive disorder at baseline was associated with increased odds of experiencing perceptual abnormalities (OR 3.59, P = .004), particularly visual perceptual abnormalities (OR 2.36, P = .02). Borderline personality disorder at baseline was associated with increased odds of any auditory perceptual abnormalities (OR 3.44, P = .04) and specifically second person perceptual abnormalities (OR 2.69, P = .04). A history of childhood trauma and childhood bullying were both associated with increased odds of experiencing perceptual abnormalities at baseline (trauma OR 6.30, P < .001; bullying OR 5.00, P = .01).

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that in the UHR population, certain types of perceptual abnormalities index risk for co-morbid non-psychotic disorder and indicate prior experience of childhood trauma. The use of detailed phenomenology of psychotic symptoms can help to shape our understanding of risk in UHR patients.

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