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Keywords:

  • psychosis;
  • psychotic disorder;
  • high-risk;
  • at-risk-mental-state;
  • early intervention

Zimbrón J, Ruiz de Azúa S, Khandaker GM, Gandamaneni PK, Crane CM, González-Pinto A, Stochl J, Jones PB, Pérez J. Clinical and sociodemographic comparison of people at high-risk for psychosis and with first-episode psychosis.

Objective:  To compare clinical and sociodemographic characteristics previously associated with psychosis, between individuals at high-risk for psychosis (HR) and patients experiencing a first episode psychosis (FEP), to achieve a better understanding of factors associated with psychosis.

Method:  Cross-sectional comparison of 30 individuals at HR with 30 age-gender matched FEP, presenting to an early intervention service for psychosis. Participants were followed-up for 2 years to establish the proportion of HR who made the transition into FEP.

Results:  Both groups showed similar socio-clinical characteristics, including immigration status, employment history, marital status, family history of psychotic illness, self-harm and alcohol and drug use. The HR group had a lower level of education, higher burden of trauma, earlier onset of psychiatric symptoms and a longer delay in accessing specialised services. A younger onset of symptoms was associated with a longer delay in accessing services in both groups. After a 2 year follow-up, only three (10%) of the HR group made a transition into FEP.

Conclusion:  The similarities observed between individuals at HR and those with FEP suggest that known variables associated with psychosis may be equally prevalent in people at HR who do not develop a psychotic disorder.