What percentage of people in the general population satisfies the current clinical at-risk criteria of psychosis?

Schimmelmann, Benno G; Michel, Chantal; Schaffner, Noemi; Schultze-Lutter, Frauke (2011). What percentage of people in the general population satisfies the current clinical at-risk criteria of psychosis? Schizophrenia Research, 125(1), pp. 99-100. Elsevier 10.1016/j.schres.2010.09.018

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The clinical validity of at-risk criteria of psychosis had been questioned based on epidemiological studies that have reported much higher prevalence and annual incidence rates of psychotic-like experiences (PLEs as assessed by either self rating questionnaires or layperson interviews) in the general population than of the clinical phenotype of psychotic disorders (van Os et al., 2009). Thus, it is unclear whether “current at-risk criteria reflect behaviors so common among adolescents and young adults that a valid distinction between ill and non-ill persons is difficult” (Carpenter, 2009). We therefore assessed the 3-month prevalence of at-risk criteria by means of telephone interviews in a randomly drawn general population sample from the at-risk age segment (age 16–35 years) in the Canton Bern, Switzerland. Eighty-five of 102 subjects had valid phone numbers, 21 of these subjects refused (although 6 of them signaled willingness to participate at a later time), 4 could not be contacted. Sixty subjects (71% of the enrollment fraction) participated. Two participants met exclusion criteria (one for being psychotic, one for lack of language skills).

Twenty-two at-risk symptoms were assessed for their prevalence and severity within the 3 months prior to the interview by trained clinical raters using (i) the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS; Miller et al., 2002) for the evaluation of 5 attenuated psychotic and 3 brief limited intermittent psychotic symptoms (APS, BLIPS) as well as state-trait criteria of the ultra-high-risk (UHR) criteria and (ii) the Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument, Adult version (SPI-A; Schultze-Lutter et al., 2007) for the evaluation of the 14 basic symptoms included in COPER and COGDIS (Schultze-Lutter et al., 2008). Further, psychiatric axis I diagnoses were assessed by means of the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, M.I.N.I. (Sheehan et al., 1998), and psychosocial functioning by the Scale of Occupational and Functional Assessment (SOFAS; APA, 1994). All interviewees felt ‘rather’ or ‘very’ comfortable with the interview.

Of the 58 included subjects, only 1 (2%) fulfilled APS criteria by reporting the attenuated, non-delusional idea of his mind being literally read by others at a frequency of 2–3 times a week that had newly occurred 6 weeks ago. BLIPS, COPER, COGDIS or state-trait UHR criteria were not reported. Yet, twelve subjects (21%) described sub-threshold at-risk symptoms: 7 (12%) reported APS relevant symptoms but did not meet time/frequency criteria of APS, and 9 (16%) reported COPER and/or COGDIS relevant basic symptoms but at an insufficient frequency or as a trait lacking increase in severity; 4 of these 12 subjects reported both sub-threshold APS and sub-threshold basic symptoms. Table 1 displays type and frequency of the sub-threshold at-risk symptoms.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Schimmelmann, Benno Karl Edgar; Michel, Chantal and Schultze-Lutter, Frauke


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Myriam Pyrlik

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:18

Last Modified:

03 Apr 2014 23:46

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/5794 (FactScience: 210628)

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