What Becomes of Risk Symptoms in the Community? 2.5-Year Follow-Up Findings of the Bern Epidemiological At-Risk (BEAR) Study

Poster A42, Thursday, October 20, 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

In clinical samples of early detection services, clinical high risk criteria are associated with a 2- to 3-year conversion rate of roughly 30%. Yet, their prevalence and course outside help-seeking samples is largely unknown and therefore studied in the BEAR study. At baseline, 25% of the young adults from the community (16-40 years) reported any lifetime risk symptom according to established early detection instruments, but only 3% met any risk criterion. After 2.5 years, those with any lifetime risk symptom (RISK) and a control group (CONTROL) were re-interviewed. At the time of writing, 274 follow-ups were conducted: of 143 RISK and of 131 CONTROL. Three RISK (2%), but no CONTROL reported a meanwhile development of first-episode psychosis. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that RISK were significantly more likely than CONTROL to report presence of any risk symptom within the follow-up period (33% vs. 6%; OR=7.52, 95% CI: 3.39-16.70); and lifetime report of risk symptoms at baseline was the sole predictor of their report at follow-up. Altogether 8% (11% of RISK and 5% of CONTROL) met criteria for a non-psychotic axis-I disorder at or within follow-up without risk symptoms being a significant predictor of their report. Thus risk symptoms appear to persist in a significant proportion of persons without generally increasing the likelihood of developing any full-blown mental disorder. Yet, should the result of psychotic disorders developing solely in RISK hold, risk symptoms- might indeed predispose to the development of psychotic symptoms, even outside clinical samples.

Topic Area: Epidemiology

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