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Distress and metacognition in psychosis prone individuals: comparing high schizotypy to the at-risk mental state

Barkus, Emma J., Stirling, John D., French, Paul, Morrison, Anthony, Bentall, Richard and Lewis, Shon (2010) Distress and metacognition in psychosis prone individuals: comparing high schizotypy to the at-risk mental state. The journal of nervous & mental disease, 198 (2). pp. 99-104. ISSN 1539-736X

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Abstract

Both schizotypy and at-risk mental states (ARMS: prodromal states) define individuals at risk for psychotic symptoms. However, the relationship between the 2 is unclear. ARMS individuals are, by definition, help-seeking and therefore at greater risk. We tested whether high schizotypes and ARMS exist along the same continuum by examining maladaptive metacognitions and distress. About 95 healthy volunteers (39% male; mean age, 22.8 years) completed the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire, the Launay-Slade Hallucinations Scale, Metacognitions Questionnaire (MCQ), and the General Health Questionnaire, and 58 help seeking individuals with ARMS status (41% male; mean age, 22.2 years) completed the Metacognitions Questionnaire and General Health Questionnaire. With increasing expression of schizotypy and hallucinatory proneness healthy volunteers became difficult to differentiate from ARMS patients and showed similarities in distress and metacognitive abnormalities. Results suggest healthy volunteers who express both schizotypal trait and proneness to hallucinations have cognitive processes in common with ARMS patients.

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