Impact of age on the prevalence and clinical significance of attenuated psychotic symptoms in 8- to 40-year-olds of the general population

Poster B2, 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 University of Bern

Early detection of psychosis is an important topic in psychiatry. Yet, there is limited information on the prevalence and clinical significance of risk symptoms in children and adolescents as compared to adults. Within two projects funded by the Swiss National Foundation (SNF), we examined ultra-high-risk (UHR) symptoms and criteria in 8-40-year-olds from the general population. UHR symptoms were assessed with the Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndromes. Well-trained psychologists performed assessments. Logistic regression analyses were used to assess impact of age groups on UHR symptoms and their clinical significance (current psychosocial functioning deficits or non-psychotic DSM-IV axis-I disorder), thereby differentiating between perceptive and non-perceptive phenomena. Altogether, 9.9% of interviewees (N=689) reported attenuated (APS), none transient psychotic symptoms, and 1.3% met APS criteria. A strong age effect was detected for APS around age 16: compared to 16-40-year-olds, 8-15-year-olds reported more perceptive APS that were generally little related to functional impairment, regardless of age. Conversely, non-perceptive APS were related to low functioning, in particular in those of age 16 or older, although their prevalence was unaffected by age. These findings strongly suggest developmental factors affecting prevalence and clinical significance of UHR symptoms. Further, they emphasize the need to address differential effects of perceptive and non-perceptive risk phenomena, and their interaction with age, also in terms of conversion to psychosis, in future studies, and to address features that distinguish ill from non-ill experiences in children and young adolescents that meet current definition of risk symptoms.

Topic Area: Diagnosis and Phenomenology

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