Evaluating Stress in child and adolescents at risk for psychosis. Preliminary data from a longitudinal study

Poster C117, Saturday, October 22, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Daniel Muñoz Samons1, Jordina Tor1, Marta Rodriguez1, Elena de la Serna2, Immaculada Baeza2, Montserrat Dolz1; 1Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Barcelona, 2Hospital Clínic, Barcelona

Even though stress has been postulated as a causal factor of psychosis, studies are controversial. Similarly, inconsistent data have emerged from studies with patients at High Risk for Psychosis. METHOD: A prospective, naturalistic study from Hospital Clinic and Hospital Sant Joan de Déu of Barcelona was conducted in help-seeking children and adolescents (10-17 years) at risk for psychosis (UHR) and healthy controls (HC). Inclusion criteria: 1) Attenuated positive or negative symptoms in the previous 12 months, assessed by the Semistructured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS); 2) Brief limited intermittent psychotic symptoms; 3) First or second degree relative with schizophrenia or schizotypical disorder plus impairment of functioning. Exclusion criteria: IQ<70 or a diagnosis of neurodevelopment disorder. Stressful Life Events in the last year were assessed with the Stressful Life Events Schedule (SLES). RESULTS: 69 UHR subjects (mean age 15,15; 60,8% females) and 38 HC (mean age 15,57; 68,4% females), with no age and gender differences between them. Trends were in the direction of females reporting more frequency and intensity of stressful events for SLES measures. Ratings of SLES, both number of events and subjective perceived stress for each life event are significantly higher in UHR than in HC (p=0,001 and p<0,001). In covariance analysis, using sex and number of events as covariables, subjective stress rate remained significantly higher in UHR than HC (p=0,046). CONCLUSIONS: Child and adolescents UHR report a major frequency of stressful events and major stress sensitivity than HC. It supports the suggested role of stress in psychotic disorders.

Topic Area: Ultra High Risk / Prodromal Research

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