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[Online ahead of print]

Sleep Disturbances in Youth At-Risk for Serious Mental Illness

Sleep Disturbances in Youth At-Risk for Serious Mental Illness

Jacqueline Stowkowy et al. Early Interv Psychiatry.


Aim: To investigate sleep behaviours of youth at-risk for serious mental illness (SMI).

Methods: This study included 243 youth, ages 12 to 25:42 healthy controls, 41 asymptomatic youth at-risk for mental illness (stage 0); 53 help-seeking youth experiencing distress (stage 1a) and 107 youth with attenuated syndromes (stage 1b). The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index was used to assess sleep dysfunction.

Results: Stage 1b individuals indicated the greatest deficit in global sleep dysfunction (F = 26.18, P < .0001). Stages 1a and 1b reported significantly worse subjective sleep quality, a longer sleep latency, increased use of sleep medications as well as greater daytime dysfunction compared to the asymptomatic groups.

Conclusion: Research investigating sleep behaviours of youth considered to be at-risk for SMI is limited. This study provides early evidence that sleep disturbances are worse for individuals considered to be at higher risk of illness development.

Keywords: clinical high risk; depression; psychosis; serious mental illness; sleep.

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