Substance Use, Symptom Severity, and Functioning in First Episode Psychosis

Poster A123, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Danielle M. Beaudette1, Kathryn L. Hardin1, Alan Breier2, Kyle S. Minor1; 1Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, 2Indiana University

There has been much discussion regarding the impact of substance use on mental health and general functioning. This issue is particularly relevant for those with first episode psychosis (FEP) due to the high incidence of substance use in this population. Understanding the influence of substance use on symptom severity and functioning in these individuals remains unclear and is an important avenue for informing treatment development. In the current project, 20 FEP and 20 healthy controls were compared on lifetime substance use, symptom severity, and functioning. We sought to determine the relationships between these constructs and hypothesized that substance use within the FEP group would predict higher symptom severity and lower role functioning. Chi square analyses showed group type to be significantly related to cannabis and tobacco use, with the FEP group more likely to use these substances. Independent sample t-tests showed a significant difference in role functioning scores between the FEP (M=4.16, SD=2.32) and control groups (M=7.89, SD=1.82); t(36)=-5.53, p<0.001. Within the FEP group, cannabis use significantly predicted negative symptom severity, accounting for up to 61% of the variance. Contrary to hypotheses, however, cannabis use predicted less negative symptoms. Regression analyses evaluating substance use as a predictor for functioning did not reach significance. The results of this preliminary analysis suggest more complex relationships among substance use, psychotic symptoms, and functioning in FEP. This analysis is limited due to small sample size, and results should be interpreted prudently. Future research is needed to elucidate these relationships.

Topic Area: Substance Use

Back to Poster Schedule