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Schizophr Res. 2008 Oct;105(1-3):10-7. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2008.07.012. Epub 2008 Sep 2.

Validation of "prodromal" criteria to detect individuals at ultra high risk of psychosis: 2 year follow-up.

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  • 1Orygen Research Centre and University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry, Parkville 3052, Victoria, Australia. aryung@unimelb.edu.au



Identification of individuals "prodromal" for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders relies on criteria that predict onset within a brief period. Previous trials and biological research have been predicated on the view that certain "ultra high risk" (UHR) criteria detect "the prodrome", but there is a need to test the validity of these criteria.


To assess the predictive validity of the UHR criteria in a clinical population.


The presence of UHR criteria was determined in 292 help-seeking individuals. At 2 year follow-up the number of new cases of psychotic disorder was assessed.


The criteria significantly predicted onset of psychotic disorder within 2 years. The transition rate of 16% was much lower than in initial cohorts (over 40%).


The predictive validity of UHR criteria depends on the sample to which they are applied. Although young help-seekers meeting these criteria are at greater risk of psychotic disorder than those who do not meet them, caution is needed in their management, since a high transition rate can no longer be assumed.

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