Background and hypothesis: Around 5%-7% of the adult population are estimated to have lifetime psychotic experiences (PEs), which are associated with psychosis risk. PEs assessed with Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) are associated with psychosis but also non-psychotic disorders, which could be partly explained by CAPE indirectly capturing emotional symptoms. We investigated the psychometric properties of a shorter version, CAPE-9, and whether CAPE-9 scores are associated with lifetime psychotic or non-psychotic mental disorders after controlling for current anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Design: CAPE-9 questionnaire data were obtained from 29 021 men (42.4 ± 5.6 yrs.) from the Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort Study. We investigated CAPE-9 reliability and factor structure. Logistic regression was used to test effects of current anxiety and depressive symptoms (SCL-12) on associations between CAPE-9 scores and psychiatric diagnoses.
Results: CAPE-9 fit a previously reported 3-factor structure and showed good reliability. Twenty-six percent reported at least one lifetime PE. CAPE-9 scores were significantly associated with most psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, anxiety, trauma-related disorders, and ADHD). After controlling for concurrent emotional symptoms, only associations with schizophrenia (OR = 1.29; 95% CI = 1.18-1.38) and trauma-related disorders (OR = 1.09; CI = 1.02-1.15) remained significant.
Conclusions: CAPE-9 showed good psychometric properties in this large population-based adult male sample, and PEs were more clearly associated with psychotic disorders after controlling for current emotional symptoms. These results support the use of the short CAPE-9 as a cost-effective tool for informing public health initiatives and advancing our understanding of the dimensionality of psychosis.
Keywords: mental illness; psychometrics; psychotic experiences; public health.
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center.