The impact of age on the prevalence and clinical significance of attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS) in patients of an early detection service

Poster B4, Friday, October 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Frauke Schultze-Lutter1, Myriam Werz1, Chantal Michel1, Benno G. Schimmelmann1, Daniela Hubl1; 1University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy University of Bern

Compared to 16- to 40-year-olds, 8- to 15-year-olds of the general population reported higher frequencies of perceptual and lesser clinical significance of non-perceptual attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS). We examined if such an age effect can also be detected in a clinical never-psychotic sample (N=133) referred to a specialized service for clinical suspicion of developing psychosis. APS and brief intermittent psychotic symptoms (BIPS) were assessed with by items P1-3 and P5 (non-perceptual), and P4 (perceptual) of the Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndromes, current axis-I disorders with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview and psychosocial functioning with the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (score <71 indicative of at least some difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning). In the sample, 64% reported APS (61%) or BIPS (7%); any perceptual APS/BIPS was reported by 43% and any non-perceptual APS/BIPS by 44%. In correspondence to the results in the general population sample, perceptual but not non-perceptual APS/BIPS were significantly more frequent in younger age groups below the age of 16 (8-12 yrs.: OR=4.7 (1.1-19.5); 13-15 yrs.: OR=2.7 (0.9-7.7); 20-24-year-olds as reference group). An age effect of APS/BIPS on presence of any current axis-I disorder (59%) or functional difficulties (67%) could not be detected. Yet, when APS criteria were met (26%), the likelihood of a psychiatric diagnosis increased significantly with advancing age. Overall, the replicated age effect on perceptual APS in this clinical sample highlights the need to examine ways to distinguish clinically relevant perceptual APS from perceptual aberrations likely remitting over the course of adolescence

Topic Area: Diagnosis and Phenomenology

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