Effects of autistic traits on recovery in first-episode psychosis: A preliminary analysis

Poster A2, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Astelle KOH1, Shushan ZHENG1, Giles TAN1, Charmaine TANG1, Vicki LIM1, Yi Chian CHUA1, Edimansyah ABDIN1, Lye Yin POON1, Geraldine LIM3, Iliana MAGIATI2, Swapna VERMA1; 1Institute of Mental Health, Singapore, 2Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore, 3Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore

Autistic traits have been known to complicate diagnosis and treatment for individuals with first episode psychosis (FEP). To the best of our knowledge, there are no prior studies examining this relationship in an Asian population. A FEP sample on follow up with the Early Psychosis Intervention Programme (EPIP) in Singapore was examined for autistic traits as measured by the Autism Spectrum Quotient 10 items (AQ-10). Trajectory of recovery are indicated by changes in both Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and Global Assessment of Functioning Scale scores between baseline and at 12 months follow up. As hypothesized, preliminary analyses (N=134) revealed that individuals with higher AQ-10 score predicted for higher PANSS scores at 12 months (=2.059, p=.031). Higher AQ-10 score were also correlated with poorer functional improvement at 12 months (=-5.177, p=.101). This was however not statistically significant possibly due to lack of power as data collection is still ongoing. Nevertheless, these findings replicate previous studies in demonstrating the importance of addressing autistic traits in a FEP population. Future research can explore the potential of using the AQ-10 as a screening tool to help identify autistic traits in individuals with FEP. A thorough assessment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) should be arranged for individuals who meet the AQ-10 cut-off point. The needs of individuals with autistic traits and ASD should be examined, while service gaps should be addressed by collaborating with neurodevelopmental services to provide the necessary support and intervention with the aim of improving outcomes in these individuals.

Topic Area: Comorbid Conditions

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