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The European impact of the clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR-P) paradigm is constrained by the lack of critical mass (detection) to power prognostic and preventive interventions.
An ITAlian partnership for psychosis prevention (ITAPP) was created across CHR-P centers, which were surveyed to describe: (a) service, catchment area, and outreach; (b) service users; and (c) interventions and outcomes. Descriptive statistics and Kaplan–Meier failure function complemented the analyses.
The ITAPP included five CHR-P clinical academic centers established from 2007 to 2018, serving about 13 million inhabitants, with a recruitment capacity of 277 CHR-P individuals (mean age: 18.7 years, SD: 4.8, range: 12–39 years; 53.1% females; 85.7% meeting attenuated psychotic symptoms; 85.8% without any substance abuse). All centers were multidisciplinary and included adolescents and young adults (transitional) primarily recruited through healthcare services. The comprehensive assessment of at-risk mental state was the most widely used instrument, while the duration of follow-up, type of outreach, and preventive interventions were heterogeneous. Across 205 CHR-P individuals with follow up (663.7 days ± 551.7), the cumulative risk of psychosis increased from 8.7% (95% CI 5.3–14.1) at 1 year to 15.9% (95% CI 10.6–23.3) at 2 years, 21.8% (95% CI 14.9–31.3) at 3 years, 34.8% (95% CI 24.5–47.9) at 4 years, and 51.9% (95% CI 36.3–69.6) at 5 years.
The ITAPP is one of the few CHR-P clinical research partnerships in Europe for fostering detection, prognosis, and preventive care, as well as for translating research innovations into practice.
The presence of subthreshold psychotic symptoms in adolescents with eating disorders is poorly described. This study provides a detailed characterization of adolescents affected by eating disorders in the absence or presence of subthreshold psychotic symptoms, taking into account a wide set of sociodemographic, psychological, and clinical variables.
Ninety-four adolescents diagnosed with eating disorders were interviewed, focusing on clinical anamnesis and sociodemographic data collection. The Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS) was used to assess the presence (HR+) or absence (HR−) of subthreshold psychosis. The clinicians completed a questionnaire on eating disorders severity, whereas patients provided self-report measures of global social functioning and psychological symptoms associated with eating disorders.
Attenuated psychotic symptoms were highly frequent (84% of subjects). HR+ patients experienced more frequently purging behaviors and dysmorphophobia and received a greater amount of antipsychotic drugs. Compared to HR− counterparts, HR+ patients reported higher eating disorders severity and psychological symptoms (i.e., ineffectiveness, interpersonal and affective problems) associated with eating disorders. Finally, a significant correlation between global social functioning and eating disorders severity emerged only for HR− subjects.
These descriptive data are warranted to identify a potential psychotic core in eating disorders, mainly concerning body image and weight as well as specific psychological features. The availability of reliable and valid markers of risk can further increase our capacity to detect the early emergence of psychosis in adolescents with eating disorders, whose outcome might be worsened by the presence of psychotic symptoms.
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