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.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.