The relationship between childhood trauma and clinical characteristics in ultra-high risk for psychosis youth [2019]

Mounting evidence suggests that a history of childhood trauma (CT) is associated with an increased risk of developing a psychotic disorder. Whereas the majority of studies in this area have focused on onset (“transition”) of psychosis as their primary outcome, few studies have examined the impact of CT on distress associated with attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS) and on diagnostic outcomes other than transition to psychosis. The current study presents data from 81 ultra-high risks (UHR) for psychosis patients who were followed-up for 12 months and who were assessed for a history of CT, severity and distress associated with APS, general psychopathology, functioning and transition to psychosis and/or non-psychotic disorders. The prevalence of childhood trauma in the UHR sample was high (82.7%). Severity of CT was associated with suicidality and self-harm, but, unexpectedly, was unrelated to the other outcomes of the study. The findings stand in contrast with previous UHR studies, which have found CT to be associated with poorer clinical outcomes, poorer functioning, and transition to psychosis and/or other mental disorders. The high prevalence of CT in UHR patients and its association with suicidality and self-harm underlines the importance of inquiring about CT during clinical assessments.

Chloé de Vos, Andrew Thompson, Paul Amminger, Sarah Bendall, Lieuwe de Haan, Jessica Hartmann, Suzie Lavoie, Connie Markulev, Patrick McGorry, Dorien Nieman, Lisa Phillips, Ulrich Reininghaus, Hok Pan Yuen, Alison Yung & Barnaby Nelson
Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches, 06 Mar 2019