The impact of age on the validity of the prime screen in a sample of help-seeking adolescents

Poster B105, Tuesday, October 9, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Pamela Rakhshan1, Steven C. Pitts1, Zachary B. Millman1, Nicole Andorko1, Camille Wilson2, Caroline Demro3, Peter Phalen4, Jason Schiffman1; 1University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2Nationwide Children's Hospital, 3Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 4University of Maryland Baltimore

Research indicates that duration of untreated psychosis is implicated in the prognosis of psychotic disorders. Extending the concepts of early interventions established among those in their first episode of psychosis, the field has moved towards prevention through efforts to uncover signs of clinical high-risk (CHR) prior to full illness development. Brief self-report screening instruments offer promise in furthering feasible early identification efforts for at-risk youth. Current efforts, however, are limited by high false positive rates. Identifying moderators of screener accuracy is a potential first step to improving identification and prevention efforts. We investigated the moderating effect of age on self-reported attenuated positive symptoms from the Prime Screen and clinician diagnosed CHR status. Participants (N = 134) were racially diverse help-seeking adolescents from the community. Results suggested the presence of a trending linear-by-quadratic interaction between age and Prime Screen symptoms (b = -0.04 χ2 (1) = 3.75 p = .053). Exploratory analyses revealed number of items endorsed to optimally predict CHR diagnosis decreased with age (youngest group cutoff = 5 items; middle age group cutoff = 3 items; oldest age group cutoff = 1 item). Although younger participants endorsed more risk items on average, follow up analyses suggested that the Prime Screen was a more accurate predictor of clinician-diagnosed risk among older participants relative to their younger peers. The current study builds on the literature identifying moderators of psychosis-risk screener accuracy, and highlights the potential limitations of CHR screening tools in younger populations.

Topic Area: Ultra High Risk / Prodromal Research

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