Demographic and Clinical Characteristics of Diagnosed and Non-Diagnosed Psychotic Disorders in the Community

Poster B1, Friday, October 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Chantal Michel1, Benno G. Schimmelmann1, Frauke Schultze-Lutter1; 1University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Retrospective studies of first-episode psychosis patients have reported that psychosis often remains untreated for some time. Yet, from clinical samples, the characteristics and number of non-diagnosed untreated psychoses in a community can only be estimated. Thus, we compared sociodemographic and clinical features of diagnosed and non-diagnosed psychotic individuals assessed in the community. Using telephone interviews, we clinically assessed 2,682 community participants (aged 16–40 years) in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, to examine the characteristics of non-diagnosed psychosis. In a semi-structured telephone interview, clinical psychologists used the ‘Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndromes’ and the ‘Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview’ in all participants to evaluate psychosis criteria according to DSM-IV. Of the 41 detected psychoses (1.5% of the sample), 21 (54%) had already been diagnosed and were receiving treatment. Non-diagnosed individuals met criteria of a delusional disorder (n=10) more frequently than diagnosed individuals (n=1), but did not differ in other sociodemographic characteristics. In conclusion, earlier described sociodemographic correlates of treatment delays in psychosis might be biased by psychotic disorders more frequently presenting in mental health services, and thus may not generalise to all psychoses in the community. Furthermore, there may be higher rates of delusional disorders than traditionally estimated. Therefore, further study of delusional disorder is needed to close the treatment gap in psychoses along with an increased awareness of delusional disorder in primary health care services, as these individuals might present themselves for other complaints.

Topic Area: Diagnosis and Phenomenology

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