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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.



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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