Clinical and sociodemographic comparison of people at high-risk for psychosis and with first-episode psychosis

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2013 Mar;127(3):210-6. doi: 10.1111/acps.12000. Epub 2012 Aug 20.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Ethnicity / psychology
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Status / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Young Adult