History of trauma and the association with baseline symptoms in an Ultra-High Risk for psychosis cohort

Eva Velthorst, Barnaby Nelson, Karen O'Connor, Nilufar Mossaheb, Lieuwe de Haan, Annie Bruxner, Magenta B. Simmons, Alison R. Yung, Andrew Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Few studies have addressed the correlates of trauma in young people at Ultra-High Risk (UHR) of developing a psychotic disorder. We aimed to examine baseline differences in intensity, form and content of attenuated positive psychotic symptoms, other clinical symptomatology and comorbidity between UHR patients with and without a history of trauma. In a sample of 127 UHR individuals (53 male, 74 female; mean age 18.2 years, range 14-26) we assessed trauma history and baseline symptomatology using an audit tool developed to retrieve data from patient medical records. 56% of the subjects had experienced at least one type of trauma. The intensity of perceptual abnormalities was significantly higher in the group with a history of physical abuse and 'other trauma' compared to those without a trauma history. Physical abuse was related to higher levels of visual disturbances, suspiciousness, grandiose beliefs and low mood compared to those without a history of physical abuse. Sexual trauma was related to perceptual disturbances with abusive content and PTSD symptoms. The prevalence of previous trauma in people at UHR of developing psychosis is high. Our findings tentatively suggest that different types of trauma may impact differently on initial presentation to UHR services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Attenuated positive symptoms
  • Clinical symptomatology
  • Psychosis
  • Trauma
  • Ultra High Risk


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