Depression: An actionable outcome for those at clinical high-risk

Schizophr Res. 2021 Jan:227:38-43. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2020.10.001. Epub 2020 Oct 29.


Comorbid diagnoses are common in youth who are at clinical high-risk (CHR) for developing psychosis, with depression being the most common. The aim of this paper is to examine depression over two years in a large sample of CHR youth who do not make the transition to psychosis, considering both categorical and dimensional ratings of depression severity. The sample consisted of 267 CHR youth who were followed for two years. Based on DSM-IV diagnoses over this time period, 100 CHR individuals never received a diagnosis of depression, 64 individuals continuously met criteria for depression, 92 individuals received a diagnosis of depression at one or more timepoints, and 11 participants had a diagnosis of depression only at 24-months. These groupings were supported by six-monthly ratings on the Calgary Depression Scale. The majority of this sample experienced a major depressive episode on more than one occasion, suggesting that depression and depressive symptoms identify a domain of substantial unmet clinical need. Recommendations are that depression in CHR youth and young adults should be monitored more frequently and that there is a need for clinical trials to address depression systematically in this vulnerable population.

Keywords: Clinical high-risk; Depression; Prognosis; Psychosis; Symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major* / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major* / epidemiology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Humans
  • Psychotic Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Young Adult