• schizophrenia;
  • trauma;
  • psychosis;
  • prodrome

Bechdolf A, Thompson A, Nelson B, Cotton S, Simmons MB, Amminger GP, Leicester S, Francey SM, McNab C, Krstev H, Sidis A, McGorry PD, Yung AR. Experience of trauma and conversion to psychosis in an ultra-high-risk (prodromal) group.

Objective:  We aimed to replicate a recent finding of high prevalence of trauma history in patients at ‘ultra-high risk’ (UHR) of psychotic disorder and to investigate whether trauma predicts conversion to psychosis in this population.

Method:  A consecutive sample of UHR patients was assessed. History of trauma was accessed with the General Trauma Questionnaire. Cox regression models were used to explore relationship between conversion to psychosis and trauma.

Results:  Of 92 UHR patients nearly 70% had experienced a traumatic event and 21.7% developed psychosis during follow-up (mean 615 days). Patients who had experienced a sexual trauma (36%) were significantly more likely to convert to first-episode psychosis (OR 2.96) after controlling for meeting multiple UHR intake groups.

Conclusion:  UHR patients have a high prevalence of history of trauma. Previous sexual trauma may be a predictor of onset of psychotic disorder in this population.