Psychotic-like experiences in individuals interested in esoterism

Poster C106, Saturday, October 22, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Barbara Hinterbuchinger1, Zsuzsa Litvan1, Maria Gruber1, Daniel König1, Stefanie Süßenbacher1, Fabian Friedrich1, Alexander Kaltenboeck2, Nilufar Mossaheb1; 1Clinical Division of Social Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Austria, 2School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Purpose Assuming a continuum of psychosis, psychotic or psychotic-like experiences do not occur exclusively in individuals with psychotic disorders, but also in the general population. Previous research has shown that especially individuals interested in paranormal phenomena may more often report psychotic-like experiences. The aim of this study was to investigate psychotic-like experiences in non-clinical individuals interested in esoterism. Materials and Methods The 16-Item version of the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ-16), a self-report screening questionnaire assessing the presence of attenuated psychotic symptoms was administered to individuals with interest (n = 224) and without interest in esoterism (n = 153) during an esoterism fair in October 2015 in Vienna, Austria. Results There was no difference in gender distribution between groups. In the group of individuals interested in esoterism 75% were female, compared to 66.7% in the group without interest. Individuals interested in esoterism were significantly older (mean = 44.96, SD = 12.95) compared to individuals without interest in esoterism (mean = 41.19, SD = 16.15), p < .05 and showed significantly higher PQ-16 scores (median = 6, mean = 6.24, n = 213) compared to individuals without interest in esoterism (median = 1, mean = 2.12, n = 150), p=.000. Conclusion Individuals interested in esoterism had a significantly higher occurrence of positive items on a self-report screening instrument for psychotic-like experiences, compared to individuals without interest in esoterism. Assessing psychotic-like experiences in specific subgroups may serve to further knowledge on the continuum of psychosis-proneness model.

Topic Area: Ultra High Risk / Prodromal Research

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