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Schizophr Res. 2007 Jul;93(1-3):144-51. Epub 2007 Apr 24.

Self-report of attenuated psychotic experiences in a college population.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1285 Franz Hall, Box 951563, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA. rloewy@lppi.ucsf.edu


This study assessed the rates of self-reported "prodromal" psychotic symptoms and related distress in a college population. 1020 students completed the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ), a self-report screening measure for psychosis risk. Participants' responses were highly similar to the responses of non-psychotic-spectrum patients in the original PQ validation sample [Loewy, R.L., Bearden, C.E., Johnson, J.K., Raine, A., Cannon, T.D., 2005. The Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ): preliminary validation of a self-report screening measure for prodromal and psychotic syndromes. Schizophr. Res. 79 (1) 117-125], suggesting that the PQ may perform similarly with a variety of populations. Applying the cutoff proposed for screening treatment-seeking patients (8 or more positive symptoms) identified 43% of students, while comparatively fewer participants (25%) endorsed eight or more items at the frequency required for prodromal syndrome diagnosis by interview (i.e., weekly), and only 2% endorsed eight or more items as distressing. Although attenuated psychotic experiences are commonly reported by "normal" young adults, frequent and distressing items identify a proportion of students more consistent with the prevalence of psychotic-spectrum disorders in the general population, which suggests a potential for future screening of unselected samples.

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