Psychological predictors of a post-traumatic stress response to psychosis in an early onset hospitalised sample

Poster A8, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Sarah Swan1, Nicola Reynolds1, Nadine Keen1, Juliana Onwumere1; 1Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London

In first episode psychosis, post-traumatic stress (PTS) response to psychosis and hospitalisation is estimated between 31%-46%. People with psychosis and co-morbid PTS symptoms have poorer functional outcomes and greater service use. The current study examines whether psychological variables (illness belief, social comparison, maladaptive self schemas) play a role in developing a PTS reaction to psychosis and hospitalisation. Using a cross sectional design, in-patients with early onset psychosis were recruited and completed clinician rated and self-report measures of PTS symptoms, trauma history, pathways to care, illness beliefs, social comparison and core beliefs. 34 inpatients, just over a third with no prior admission, participated. 58.8% were male, most were from black and ethnic minority backgrounds (88.2%) and the police were involved in admission for 58.8% of the sample. 79.4% reported a traumatic experience relating to psychotic symptoms (70.4%) or hospitalisation (25.9%). Of these, 59.2% scored within the moderate/severe or severe range for PTS symptoms. Results suggested negative self-schemas such as “I am vulnerable, I am weak” predicted PTS reactions to psychosis or hospital experiences. Shame related illnes beliefs was strongly correlated with negative self-schemas. Social comparison proved not to be significant predictors. This study was novel in investigating psychological predictors of a PTS response to psychosis and hospitalisation. Holding negative self beliefs may increase the risk of ongoing affective and cognitive sequelae consistent with a PTS reaction. Limitations include difficulties in PTS measurement and statistical power. Further research into negative schemas with larger sample sizes are indicated.

Topic Area: Stress Responsivity

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