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Risk of psychosis is defined by the presence of positive psychotic-like symptoms. In clinical examination, easily detectable perceived negative attitude of other people may also indicate risk of psychosis.
A random sample of psychiatric outpatients completed the PROD screen including questions on interpersonal relationships, functioning and subtle specific (psychotic-like) symptoms. Vulnerability to psychosis (VTP) was assessed employing specific symptoms of the PROD screen. Current risk of psychosis (CROP) was assessed using the BSABS and the SIPS/SOPS. The CROP patients were followed up for 18 months and transition to psychosis was detected. The association between perceived negative attitude of others and reported psychotic symptoms was tested in a random sample drawn from the general population.
In all, 790 outpatients were screened. Of them, 219 VTP and 55 CROP patients were identified. By follow-up, six CROP patients (11 %) had made the transition to psychosis. Vulnerability to psychosis associated with all items of interpersonal relationships and functioning. However, current risk and transition to psychosis associated only with subjectively reported negative attitude of others. In a general population sample, negative attitude of others strongly associated with reported life-time psychotic symptoms conforming thus results obtained from a patient sample.
The subjective experience of negative attitude of other people towards oneself associates with experience of psychotic symptoms and may predict more sever psychotic development. The association between perceived negative attitude and occurrence of subtle psychotic symptoms seems to be detectable both in general and patient populations.
No studies exist dealing with alexithymia and cellular phone (=CP) use. We hypothesised that there is an association between alexithymia and 1.not owing a CP and 2. with sparse use of CP.
The material consisted of 696 primary health care patients in Finland. Data was gathered with a questionnaire. Alexithymia was measured with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20. In addition to owing and using of CP several other factors were measured. The sociodemographic background factors consisted of gender, age, marital status, working status, living situation, and interpersonal relationships. The health status was measured with two subjective assessments (self perceived general health and functional ability) and with three standardized scales (the Depression Scale, Mood Disorder Questionnaire, and 22 questions from the core psychosis section of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview). In addition the childhood emotional, sexual and physical abuse was measured with the Traumatic and Distress Scale.
Only 9 % of the participants did not own a CP. Among them the means of TAS total score and TAS-factor3 (externally oriented thinking) were significantly higher than among other participants. Among those who used CP at least daily the means of all alexithymia measures: TAS total score, and the three factors (difficulty in identifying feelings, difficulty in describing feelings, externally-oriented thinking) were significantly lower than among other participants. In case of TAS total score and difficulty in describing feelings these associations still remained after controlling for all the above mentioned other factors. These findings fit well with the alexithymia construct.
This guidance paper from the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) aims to provide evidence-based recommendations on early intervention in clinical high risk (CHR) states of psychosis, assessed according to the EPA guidance on early detection. The recommendations were derived from a meta-analysis of current empirical evidence on the efficacy of psychological and pharmacological interventions in CHR samples. Eligible studies had to investigate conversion rate and/or functioning as a treatment outcome in CHR patients defined by the ultra-high risk and/or basic symptom criteria. Besides analyses on treatment effects on conversion rate and functional outcome, age and type of intervention were examined as potential moderators. Based on data from 15 studies (n = 1394), early intervention generally produced significantly reduced conversion rates at 6- to 48-month follow-up compared to control conditions. However, early intervention failed to achieve significantly greater functional improvements because both early intervention and control conditions produced similar positive effects. With regard to the type of intervention, both psychological and pharmacological interventions produced significant effects on conversion rates, but not on functional outcome relative to the control conditions. Early intervention in youth samples was generally less effective than in predominantly adult samples. Seven evidence-based recommendations for early intervention in CHR samples could have been formulated, although more studies are needed to investigate the specificity of treatment effects and potential age effects in order to tailor interventions to the individual treatment needs and risk status.
Cigarette smoking is a great health problem and prevalent among subjects with schizophrenia. Our aim was to investigate the prevalence and associations of cigarette smoking in patients with long-term schizophrenia.
Seven hundred and sixty schizophrenia patients were interviewed and their cigarette smoking was recorded.
Smoking was more prevalent men than in women patients. In logistic regression analysis, male gender, duration of illness (DUI) from 10 to 19 years, being divorced or separated, lower education and high daily doses of neuroleptics (DDN) associated significantly with regular smoking. Heavy smoking associated, in men, with hospital treatment.
In schizophrenia patients, smoking is associated with long DUI, high DDN and institutional care. Interventions for cessation and/or reduction of cigarette smoking should be a part of the treatment for patients with schizophrenia.
Research on at-risk states of psychosis has mainly aimed to predict conversion. Yet as a considerable number of patients does not to progress to this outcome during the investigated observation periods, the course of these non-converters (NC) is of major interest, particularly with regard to preventive interventions and treatment.
To analyze the psychopathological and functional in 18-month non-converters.
Data were derived from the prospective multicenter European Prediction of Psychosis Study with an 18-month follow-up period. Participants had to fulfill ultra-high risk criteria and/or the COGDIS criterion, which is based on a set of cognitive basic symptoms. Psychopathology was assessed with the Structure Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS), including the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF) and a short version of the Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument (SPI-A).
All total and subscale scores improved significantly during follow-up. However, a more detailed analysis revealed that a considerable part of the patients showed no improvement or even a worsening of psychopathology and function.
Our first analysis of course on non-converters shows that a high proportion of patients improved. In the light of results from retrospective studies, however, this improvement has to be interpreted with caution, as the observation period does not allow to determine the proportion of outpost syndromes, i.e. precursors of a later prodrome. Furthermore, a considerable portion of our sample worsened functionally and/or symptomatically. With regard to retrospective schizophrenia related results, very long observation periods may be needed to characterize the patterns of course in subpsychotic syndromes.
The aim of this guidance paper of the European Psychiatric Association is to provide evidence-based recommendations on the early detection of a clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis in patients with mental problems. To this aim, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies reporting on conversion rates to psychosis in non-overlapping samples meeting any at least any one of the main CHR criteria: ultra-high risk (UHR) and/or basic symptoms criteria. Further, effects of potential moderators (different UHR criteria definitions, single UHR criteria and age) on conversion rates were examined. Conversion rates in the identified 42 samples with altogether more than 4000 CHR patients who had mainly been identified by UHR criteria and/or the basic symptom criterion ‘cognitive disturbances’ (COGDIS) showed considerable heterogeneity. While UHR criteria and COGDIS were related to similar conversion rates until 2-year follow-up, conversion rates of COGDIS were significantly higher thereafter. Differences in onset and frequency requirements of symptomatic UHR criteria or in their different consideration of functional decline, substance use and co-morbidity did not seem to impact on conversion rates. The ‘genetic risk and functional decline’ UHR criterion was rarely met and only showed an insignificant pooled sample effect. However, age significantly affected UHR conversion rates with lower rates in children and adolescents. Although more research into potential sources of heterogeneity in conversion rates is needed to facilitate improvement of CHR criteria, six evidence-based recommendations for an early detection of psychosis were developed as a basis for the EPA guidance on early intervention in CHR states.
Theoretically, schizotypal features should be prevalent in patients at ultra high risk of psychosis. In connection to the European Prediction of Psychosis Study (EPOS), we could study their prevalence in this group using three different ways of assessing schizotypality.
EPOS dataset comprises a large sample (n=246) of UHR patients, who were followed up for 18 months. Schizotypal features were assessed in connection to SIPS interview (SIPS-STY, researcher assessment), and with PDQ-R and SPQ scales (self-assessment). Descriptive data and intercorrelations between different measures are described. Concurrent validity of these three measures is assessed by externals validators (genetic risk/ neuropsychology).
The prevalence of schizotypal pdo was 13.4% with SIPS-STY and 34.6% with PDQ-R-STY. These categorial measures were poorly correlated (k=0,11). Of continuous measures PDQ-R-STY and SPQ scores were highly correlated (r=0,78, P<,000), but SIPS-STY score was only weakly correlated with these other measures (r=0.24).
As to external validation, FDRs of psychotics did not differ from other subjects on the level of schizotypal features. PDQ-R-STY but not SIPS-STY was associated with lower verbal IQ (P=0.004). In verbal fluency test, both SIPS-STY and PDQ-R-STY contributed to poor performance, but SPQ did not add to this. Schizotypal status did not associate with results of the Spatial working memory paradigm (SWMT).
Different measures of schizotypality produce somewhat inconsistent results when studied in a high psychosis risk sample. PDQ-R questionnaire seemed to give results most consistent with the current notion of schizotypicality.
Since 1980s, several reports, based mainly in hospital registers, have suggested that the incidence of schizophrenia is decreasing. However, changes in capacity of mental hospitals, in admission policy and in diagnostic practice have not always been taken into account.
Our aim was to study 1) how annual first admission rate for schizophrenia varied during a quick deinstitutiolisation period in Finland and 2) how it was associated with changes in admission policy and diagnostic practice.
From the National Hospital Discharge Register, we identified 30 041, 15 to 64 year old patients admitted for the first time for schizophrenia to mental hospital in Finland between 1980 and 2003, as well as numbers of annual inpatient days in and all patients admitted to mental hospitals. Rates for all admitted patients and first-admitted schizophrenia patients (RFASpo) were calculated and analysed with Poisson regression analysis.
RFASpo decreased from 56.4 in 1980 to 29.5 in 1991, stayed stable until 1998 and slightly increased thereafter (30.8 in 1998 and 37.8 in 2003). Changes in RFASpo, coincided with changes in all admissions and periods of official diagnostic classifications. RFASpo varied also between gender and age groups.
In 1980s, decrease of first-admission rate for schizophrenia seemed to be dependent on change in admission policy, in number of mental beds available and in diagnostic practice. In 1990s, increase of first-admission rate for schizophrenia may be associated with economic recession and increased number of beds for adolescents.
A main objective of EPOS is to provide a valid multifactorial model for the prediction of psychosis. One major element of such a model should be the clinical state.
In a European multicentre study, persons fulfilling clinical criteria thought to indicate an increased risk for psychosis (PAR) were assessed amongst others with different psychopathological instruments covering the whole spectrum from basic symptoms to frank psychotic symptoms. Inclusion criteria comprised attenuated positive symptoms (APS), brief limited intermittent psychotic symptoms (BLIPS), cognitive basic symptoms (CogDis) and a combination of family risk and reduced functioning (S&T).
246 PAR were included into the study, mostly by APS or CogDis. Analysis of demographical data showed a high amount of functional impairment, resulting e.g. in low mean GAF scores (51.0 ± 11.8 SD), and of non-psychotic axis-I disorders. In September 2006, the hazard rate for a conversion to psychosis was 15.3 at 12 and 20.0 at 18 months after baseline assessment. According to the inclusion criteria, the highest rate of conversion was observed among PAR with BLIPS. On a dimensional level, a low GAF score was among the best predictors of conversion.
The transition rates of EPOS were in line with recent studies. A first analysis of clinical data supports the notion that the functional state should be an inherent part of any set of clinical risk criteria. Further analysis will consider the contribution of single symptoms or symptom combinations and the impact of symptom duration.
One aim of the European prediction of psychosis study (EPOS) has been to evaluate the clinical course of putatively prodromal patients in terms of psychopathology.
245 patients at risk for psychosis defined by attenuated positive symptoms, brief limited psychotic symptoms, a state/ trait combination or cognitive-perceptive basic symptoms was recruited in six centres in four countries. The Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) and the Bonn Scale for the Assessment of Basic Symptoms – Prediction List (BSABS-P) were employed. Follow-up was scheduled after 9 months (t1) and 18 months.
In total, 40 patients developed a psychosis (P). Compared to those without a transition (NP), P showed significantly higher SIPS scores at baseline. The same applied to the BSABS-P sub-scores 'cognitive perception disturbances' and 'cognitive motor disturbances'. The P sub-group developing psychosis after t1 showed no significant change of the SIPS positive (SIPS-P) sub-score or of any BSABS-P score from baseline to t1, whereas all scores improved in the NP group. At t1, SIPS-P and BSABS-P sub-score 'cognitive thought disturbances' were significantly lower in those later becoming psychotic.
Patients at risk showing a transition to psychosis during exhibited a pronounced psychopathology at baseline. Also, the positive symptom scores did not significantly improve during 1st follow-up, whereas those patients with no transition during the complete follow-up showed an improvement of all scores. As EPOS is a naturalistic study, different treatments have been performed in a considerable portion of the patients and association with course awaits further analysis.
In patients with schizophrenia, premorbid psychosocial adjustment is an important predictor of functional outcome. We studied functional outcome in young clinical high-risk (CHR) patients and how this was predicted by their childhood to adolescence premorbid adjustment.
In all, 245 young help-seeking CHR patients were assessed with the Premorbid Adjustment Scale, the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) and the Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument (SPI-A). The SIPS assesses positive, negative, disorganised, general symptoms, and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), the SPI-A self-experienced basic symptoms; they were carried out at baseline, at 9-month and 18-month follow-up. Transitions to psychosis were identified. In the hierarchical linear model, associations between premorbid adjustment, background data, symptoms, transitions to psychosis and GAF scores were analysed.
During the 18-month follow-up, GAF scores improved significantly, and the proportion of patients with poor functioning decreased from 74% to 37%. Poor premorbid adjustment, single marital status, poor work status, and symptoms were associated with low baseline GAF scores. Low GAF scores were predicted by poor premorbid adjustment, negative, positive and basic symptoms, and poor baseline work status. The association between premorbid adjustment and follow-up GAF scores remained significant, even when baseline GAF and transition to psychosis were included in the model.
A great majority of help-seeking CHR patients suffer from deficits in their functioning. In CHR patients, premorbid psychosocial adjustment, baseline positive, negative, basic symptoms and poor working/schooling situation predict poor short-term functional outcome. These aspects should be taken into account when acute intervention and long-term rehabilitation for improving outcome in CHR patients are carried out.
A considerable number of patients at clinical high risk of psychosis (CHR) are found to meet criteria for co-morbid clinical psychiatric disorders.
It is not known how clinical diagnoses correspond to transitions to psychosis (TTP).
We aimed to examine distributions of life-time and current Axis I diagnoses, and their association with TTP in CHR patients.
In the European Prediction of Psychosis Study project, 245 young help-seeking CHR patients were examined, and their baseline and life-time diagnoses were assessed by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I). TTP was defined by continuation of BLIPS for more than seven days.
Altogether, 71 % of the CHR patients had one or more life-time and 62 % one or more current SCID-I diagnosis; about a half in each category received a diagnosis of life-time depressive and anxiety disorder. Currently, 34 % suffered from depressive, 39 % from anxiety disorder, 4 % from bipolar and 6.5 % from somatoform disorder. During follow-up, 37 (15.1 %) TTPs were identified. In multivariate Cox regression analyses, current bipolar disorder, somatoform and unipolar depressive disorders associated positively, and anxiety disorders negatively, with TTP.
Both life-time and current mood and anxiety disorders are highly prevalent among help-seeking CHR patients and need to be carefully evaluated. Among them, occurrence of bipolar, somatoform and depressive disorders seem to predict TTP, while anxiety disorder may predict non-transition to psychosis. Treatment of bipolar, somatoform and depressive disorders may prevent CHR patients from developing full-blown psychotic disorders.