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The Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC) is a patient-reported outcome measure which assesses experiences of discrimination among persons with a mental illness globally.
This study evaluated whether the psychometric properties of a short-form version, DISC-Ultra Short (DISCUS) (11-item), could be replicated in a sample of people with a wide range of mental disorders from 21 sites in 15 countries/territories, across six global regions. The frequency of experienced discrimination was reported. Scaling assumptions (confirmatory factor analysis, inter-item and item-total correlations), reliability (internal consistency) and validity (convergent validity, known groups method) were investigated in each region, and by diagnosis group.
1195 people participated. The most frequently reported experiences of discrimination were being shunned or avoided at work (48.7%) and discrimination in making or keeping friends (47.2%). Confirmatory factor analysis supported a unidimensional model across all six regions and five diagnosis groups. Convergent validity was confirmed in the total sample and within all regions [ Internalised Stigma of Mental Illness (ISMI-10): 0.28–0.67, stopping self: 0.54–0.72, stigma consciousness: −0.32–0.57], as was internal consistency reliability (α = 0.74–0.84). Known groups validity was established in the global sample with levels of experienced discrimination significantly higher for those experiencing higher depression [Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-2: p < 0.001], lower mental wellbeing [Warwick-Edinburgh Well-being Scale (WEMWBS): p < 0.001], higher suicidal ideation [Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS)-4: p < 0.001] and higher risk of suicidal behaviour [Suicidal Ideation Attributes Scale (SIDAS): p < 0.001].
The DISCUS is a reliable and valid unidimensional measure of experienced discrimination for use in global settings with similar properties to the longer DISC. It offers a brief assessment of experienced discrimination for use in clinical and research settings.
A cumulative environmental exposure score for schizophrenia (exposome score for schizophrenia [ES-SCZ]) may provide potential utility for risk stratification and outcome prediction. Here, we investigated whether ES-SCZ was associated with functioning in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, unaffected siblings, and healthy controls.
This cross-sectional sample consisted of 1,261 patients, 1,282 unaffected siblings, and 1,525 healthy controls. The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale was used to assess functioning. ES-SCZ was calculated based on our previously validated method. The association between ES-SCZ and the GAF dimensions (symptom and disability) was analyzed by applying regression models in each group (patients, siblings, and controls). Additional models included polygenic risk score for schizophrenia (PRS-SCZ) as a covariate.
ES-SCZ was associated with the GAF dimensions in patients (symptom: B = −1.53, p-value = 0.001; disability: B = −1.44, p-value = 0.001), siblings (symptom: B = −3.07, p-value < 0.001; disability: B = −2.52, p-value < 0.001), and healthy controls (symptom: B = −1.50, p-value < 0.001; disability: B = −1.31, p-value < 0.001). The results remained the same after adjusting for PRS-SCZ. The degree of associations of ES-SCZ with both symptom and disability dimensions were higher in unaffected siblings than in patients and controls. By analyzing an independent dataset (the Genetic Risk and Outcome of Psychosis study), we replicated the results observed in the patient group.
Our findings suggest that ES-SCZ shows promise for enhancing risk prediction and stratification in research practice. From a clinical perspective, ES-SCZ may aid in efforts of clinical characterization, operationalizing transdiagnostic clinical staging models, and personalizing clinical management.
There is evidence that environmental and genetic risk factors for schizophrenia spectrum disorders are transdiagnostic and mediated in part through a generic pathway of affective dysregulation.
We analysed to what degree the impact of schizophrenia polygenic risk (PRS-SZ) and childhood adversity (CA) on psychosis outcomes was contingent on co-presence of affective dysregulation, defined as significant depressive symptoms, in (i) NEMESIS-2 (n = 6646), a representative general population sample, interviewed four times over nine years and (ii) EUGEI (n = 4068) a sample of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, the siblings of these patients and controls.
The impact of PRS-SZ on psychosis showed significant dependence on co-presence of affective dysregulation in NEMESIS-2 [relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI): 1.01, p = 0.037] and in EUGEI (RERI = 3.39, p = 0.048). This was particularly evident for delusional ideation (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 1.74, p = 0.003; EUGEI: RERI = 4.16, p = 0.019) and not for hallucinatory experiences (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 0.65, p = 0.284; EUGEI: −0.37, p = 0.547). A similar and stronger pattern of results was evident for CA (RERI delusions and hallucinations: NEMESIS-2: 3.02, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 6.44, p < 0.001; RERI delusional ideation: NEMESIS-2: 3.79, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 5.43, p = 0.001; RERI hallucinatory experiences: NEMESIS-2: 2.46, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 0.54, p = 0.465).
The results, and internal replication, suggest that the effects of known genetic and non-genetic risk factors for psychosis are mediated in part through an affective pathway, from which early states of delusional meaning may arise.
This study attempted to replicate whether a bias in probabilistic reasoning, or ‘jumping to conclusions’(JTC) bias is associated with being a sibling of a patient with schizophrenia spectrum disorder; and if so, whether this association is contingent on subthreshold delusional ideation.
Data were derived from the EUGEI project, a 25-centre, 15-country effort to study psychosis spectrum disorder. The current analyses included 1261 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, 1282 siblings of patients and 1525 healthy comparison subjects, recruited in Spain (five centres), Turkey (three centres) and Serbia (one centre). The beads task was used to assess JTC bias. Lifetime experience of delusional ideation and hallucinatory experiences was assessed using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences. General cognitive abilities were taken into account in the analyses.
JTC bias was positively associated not only with patient status but also with sibling status [adjusted relative risk (aRR) ratio : 4.23 CI 95% 3.46–5.17 for siblings and aRR: 5.07 CI 95% 4.13–6.23 for patients]. The association between JTC bias and sibling status was stronger in those with higher levels of delusional ideation (aRR interaction in siblings: 3.77 CI 95% 1.67–8.51, and in patients: 2.15 CI 95% 0.94–4.92). The association between JTC bias and sibling status was not stronger in those with higher levels of hallucinatory experiences.
These findings replicate earlier findings that JTC bias is associated with familial liability for psychosis and that this is contingent on the degree of delusional ideation but not hallucinations.
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia under antipsychotic therapy and to investigate the effect of various parameters on sexual dysfunction.
A total of 827 stabilized outpatients who met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia, were recruited in the study. Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX) and the subscale on sexual function of the UKU Side Effects Rating Scale were applied at a single interview.
In total, 52.6% of the patients had sexual dysfunction, 54.2% reported a low sexual desire and 41.7% reported problems in having an orgasm. Erectile dysfunction and ejaculation problems were seen in 48.1% and 64.2% of the men, respectively; amenorrhea was seen in 24.9% of the women. ASEX score and severity of disease were found to be correlated (p = 0.02). Higher ASEX scores were observed in patients who smoked (p = 0.01). Men receiving atypical monotherapy had lower ASEX scores than those receiving a combination of atypical and conventional antipsychotics (p = 0.017). Patients on combination therapy had more ejaculation problems than the atypical group (p = 0.001). Low sexual desire was more prevalent among women using conventional drugs than those on atypical drugs (p = 0.004). In linear regression analyses, ASEX was affected significantly and independently by the severity of the disease only in men (p = 0.005).
Our results show that sexual dysfunction is widespread among patients with schizophrenia on antipsychotic medications.
First-degree relatives of patients with psychotic disorder have higher levels of polygenic risk (PRS) for schizophrenia and higher levels of intermediate phenotypes.
We conducted, using two different samples for discovery (n = 336 controls and 649 siblings of patients with psychotic disorder) and replication (n = 1208 controls and 1106 siblings), an analysis of association between PRS on the one hand and psychopathological and cognitive intermediate phenotypes of schizophrenia on the other in a sample at average genetic risk (healthy controls) and a sample at higher than average risk (healthy siblings of patients). Two subthreshold psychosis phenotypes, as well as a standardised measure of cognitive ability, based on a short version of the WAIS-III short form, were used. In addition, a measure of jumping to conclusion bias (replication sample only) was tested for association with PRS.
In both discovery and replication sample, evidence for an association between PRS and subthreshold psychosis phenotypes was observed in the relatives of patients, whereas in the controls no association was observed. Jumping to conclusion bias was similarly only associated with PRS in the sibling group. Cognitive ability was weakly negatively and non-significantly associated with PRS in both the sibling and the control group.
The degree of endophenotypic expression of schizophrenia polygenic risk depends on having a sibling with psychotic disorder, suggestive of underlying gene–environment interaction. Cognitive biases may better index genetic risk of disorder than traditional measures of neurocognition, which instead may reflect the population distribution of cognitive ability impacting the prognosis of psychotic disorder.
El objetivo de este estudio fue determinar la prevalencia de disfunción sexual en pacientes con esquizofrenia tratados con antipsicóticos e investigar el efecto de varios parámetros sobre la disfunción sexual.
Se seleccionaron para el estudio 827 pacientes estabilizados que estaban siendo tratados de forma ambulatoria y que cumplieron los criterios de esquizofrenia del DSM-IV. Se aplicaron la Escala de Experiencias Sexuales de Arizona (ASEX) y la subescala de función sexual de la Escala de Puntuación de Efectos Secundarios UKU en una sola entrevista.
En total, el 52,6% de los pacientes tenía disfunción sexual, el 54,2% refirió poco deseo sexual y el 41,7%, dificultad para experimentar un orgasmo. Tenían disfunción eréctil y problemas de eyaculación el 48,1% y el 64,2% de los hombres, respectivamente; el 24,9% de las mujeres tenía amenorrea. Se encontró una correlación entre la puntuación ASEX y la gravedad de la enfermedad (p = 0,02). Los pacientes que fumaban tenían puntuaciones ASEX más altas (p = 0,01). Los hombres que recibían monoterapia atípica tuvieron unas puntuaciones ASEX más bajas que los que recibían una combinación de antipsicóticos atípicos y convencionales (p = 0,017). Los pacientes que recibían tratamiento combinado tenían más problemas de eyaculación que el grupo que recibía fármacos atípicos (p = 0,001). El deseo sexual bajo era más frecuente en mujeres que tomaban fármacos convencionales que en los que tomaban fármacos atípicos (p = 0,004). En los análisis de regresión lineal, ASEX varió significativamente y de forma independiente por la gravedad de la enfermedad sólo en hombres (p = 0,005).
Nuestros resultados demuestran que en pacientes con esquizofrenia que toman antipsicóticos es muy frecuente la disfunción sexual. 2007 Elsevier Masson SAS. Reservados todos los derechos.