We Need to Talk About Prevention

2020-05-01T15:35:51Z (GMT) by Colm Healy Mary Cannon
Since the turn of the century, the study of psychotic experiences in the general population has emerged as a major paradigm in mental health research. We now know that psychotic experiences are a relatively prevalent phenomenon, particularly in children and adolescents (1). They do not occur randomly and are clustered with other psychopathology (2–4), poor functioning (5, 6), and suicidal thoughts and behaviors (4, 7). A systematic review (3) has shown that psychotic experiences in childhood and adolescence are associated with a fourfold increased risk of a later psychotic disorder but that evidence for longitudinal associations with nonpsychotic disorders is sparse. Recent work has shown that psychotic experiences by themselves appear to have low predictive value and low sensitivity for predicting a later psychotic disorder (8) and that a more nuanced approach is needed to harness the predictive power of psychotic experiences