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Schultze-Lutter, Frauke; Walger, Petra; Franscini, Maurizia; Traber-Walker, Nina; Osman, Naweed; Walger, Helene; Schimmelmann, Benno G.; Flueckiger, Rahel and Michel, Chantal (2022): Clinical high-risk criteria of psychosis in 8-17-year-old community subjects and inpatients not suspected of developing psychosis. In: World Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 12, No. 3: pp. 425-449

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BACKGROUND In children and adolescents compared to adults, clinical high-risk of psychosis (CHR) criteria and symptoms are more prevalent but less psychosis-predictive and less clinically relevant. Based on high rates of non-converters to psychosis, especially in children and adolescents, it was suggested that CHR criteria were: (1) Pluripotential;(2) A transdiagnostic risk factor;and (3) Simply a severity marker of mental disorders rather than specifically psychosis-predictive. If any of these three alternative explanatory models were true, their prevalence should differ between persons with and without mental disorders, and their severity should be associated with functional impairment as a measure of severity. AIM To compare the prevalence and severity of CHR criteria/symptoms in children and adolescents of the community and inpatients. METHODS In the mainly cross-sectional examinations, 8-17-year-old community subjects (n = 233) randomly chosen from the population register of the Swiss Canton Bern, and inpatients (n = 306) with primary diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (n = 86), eating disorder (n = 97), anxiety including obsessive-compulsive disorder (n = 94), or autism spectrum disorder (n = 29), not clinically suspected to develop psychosis, were examined for CHR symptoms/criteria. Positive items of the Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndromes (SIPS) were used to assess the symptomatic ultra-high-risk criteria, and the Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument, Child and Youth version (SPI-CY) was used to assess the 14 basic symptoms relevant to basic symptom criteria. We examined group differences in frequency and severity of CHR symptoms/criteria using chi(2) tests and nonparametric tests with Cramer's V and Rosenthal's r as effect sizes, and their association with functioning using correlation analyses. RESULTS The 7.3% prevalence rate of CHR criteria in community subjects did not differ significantly from the 9.5% rate in inpatients. Frequency and severity of CHR criteria never differed between the community and the four inpatient groups, while the frequency and severity of CHR symptoms differed only minimally. Group differences were found in only four CHR symptoms: suspiciousness/persecutory ideas of the SIPS [chi(2) (4) = 9.425;P = 0.051, Cramer's V = 0.132;and Z = -4.281, P < 0.001;Rosenthal's r = 0.184], and thought pressure [chi(2) (4) = 11.019;P = 0.026, Cramer's V = 0.143;and Z = -2.639, P = 0.008;Rosenthal's r = 0.114], derealization [chi(2) (4) = 32.380;P < 0.001, Cramer's V = 0.245;and Z = -3.924, P < 0.001;Rosenthal's r = 0.169] and visual perception disturbances [chi(2) (4) = 10.652;P = 0.031, Cramer's V = 0.141;and Z = -2.822, P = 0.005;Rosenthal's r = 0.122] of the SPI-CY. These were consistent with a transdiagnostic risk factor or dimension, i.e., displayed higher frequency and severity in inpatients, in particular in those with eating, anxiety/obsessive-compulsive and autism spectrum disorders. Low functioning, however, was at most weakly related to the severity of CHR criteria/symptoms, with the highest correlation yielded for suspiciousness/persecutory ideas (Kendall's tau = -0.172, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION The lack of systematic differences between inpatients and community subjects does not support suggestions that CHR criteria/symptoms are pluripotential or transdiagnostic syndromes, or merely markers of symptom severity.

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