The Utility of Clinical Staging to Better Understand and Predict Illness Progression in Young People

Poster A27, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Rosemary Purcell1; 1Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health

A clinical staging model of mental disorders has been proposed as a more appropriate framework for understanding the emergence and progression of mental disorders. This model hypothesizes that mental disorders, such as psychotic, mood or anxiety disorders, develop from initial non-specific symptoms and syndromes.Transition from one stage to the next is not inevitable, but when it occurs, is hypothesised to be related to a complex range of factors. We designed the Transitions Study to establish a cohort of young people seeking help for mental health problems and to longitudinally investigate this cohort to test the clinical staging model. This presentation will report data on 801 young people (66% female; mean age=18.3 years) who were assessed at baseline and 12-month follow-up, focusing on (1) predictors of illness progression in the cohort and (2) factors than predict a change (worsening) in clinical stage. The results will be discussed in terms of the considerable potential to intervene with an early help-seeking population, particularly among those young people with key risk factors for illness progression.

Topic Area: Diagnosis and Phenomenology

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