Keep at bay! - Abnormal personal space regulation as marker of paranoia in schizophrenia

Schoretsanitis, Georgios; Kutynia, Alexandra; Stegmayer, Katharina; Strik, Werner; Walther, Sebastian (2016). Keep at bay! - Abnormal personal space regulation as marker of paranoia in schizophrenia. European psychiatry, 31, pp. 1-7. Elsevier Masson SAS 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2015.10.001

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BACKGROUND During threat, interpersonal distance is deliberately increased. Personal space regulation is related to amygdala function and altered in schizophrenia, but it remains unknown whether it is particularly associated with paranoid threat. METHODS We compared performance in two tests on personal space between 64 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and 24 matched controls. Patients were stratified in those with paranoid threat, neutral affect or paranoid experience of power. In the stop-distance paradigm, participants indicated the minimum tolerable interpersonal distance. In the fixed-distance paradigm, they indicated the level of comfort at fixed interpersonal distances. RESULTS Paranoid threat increased interpersonal distance two-fold in the stop-distance paradigm, and reduced comfort ratings in the fixed-distance paradigm. In contrast, patients experiencing paranoid power had high comfort ratings at any distance. Patients with neutral affect did not differ from controls in the stop-distance paradigm. Differences between groups remained when controlling for gender and positive symptom severity. Among schizophrenia patients, the stop-distance paradigm detected paranoid threat with 93% sensitivity and 83% specificity. CONCLUSIONS Personal space regulation is not generally altered in schizophrenia. However, state paranoid experience has distinct contributions to personal space regulation. Subjects experiencing current paranoid threat share increased safety-seeking behavior.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Schoretsanitis, Georgios; Kutynia, Alexandra; Stegmayer, Katharina; Strik, Werner and Walther, Sebastian

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0924-9338

Publisher:

Elsevier Masson SAS

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sebastian Walther

Date Deposited:

08 Jan 2016 10:26

Last Modified:

16 Dec 2016 09:08

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.eurpsy.2015.10.001

PubMed ID:

26655593

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Delusion; Grandiosity; Interpersonal distance; Paranoid threat

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.74490

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/74490

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