RNumerous studies have found that hallucinatory experiences occur in the general population. But to date, few studies have been conducted to compare clinical and nonclinical groups across a broad array of clinical symptoms that may co-occur with hallucinations. Likewise, hallucination-like experiences are measured as a multidimensional construct, with clinical and subclinical components related to vivid daydreams, intrusive thoughts, perceptual disturbance, and clinical hallucinatory experiences. Nevertheless, these individual subcomponents have not been examined across a broad spectrum of clinically disordered and nonclinical groups. The goal of the present study was to analyze the differences and similarities in the distribution of responses to hallucination-like experience in clinical and nonclinical populations and to determine the relation of these hallucination-like experiences with various clinical symptoms. These groups included patients with schizophrenia, non-psychotic clinically disordered patients, and a group of individuals with no psychiatric diagnoses. The results revealed that hallucination-like experiences are related to various clinical symptoms across diverse groups of individuals. Regression analysis found that the Psychoticism dimension of the Symptom Check List (SCL-90-R) was the most important predictor of hallucination-like experiences. Additionally, increased auditory and visual hallucination was the only subcomponent that differentiated schizophrenic patients from other groups. This distribution of responses in the dimensions of hallucination-like experiences suggests that not all the dimensions are characteristic of people hearing voices. Vivid daydreams, intrusive thoughts, and auditory distortions and visual perceptual distortions may represent a state of general vulnerability that does not denote a specific risk for clinical hallucinations. Overall, these results support the notion that hallucination-like experiences are closer to a quasi-continuum approach and that total scores on these scales explain a state of vulnerability to general perceptual disturbance.
- Clinical symptoms
- Continuum approach
- Hallucination-like experiences
- Perceptual disturbance