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An initial investigation of abnormal bodily phenomena in subjects at ultra high risk for psychosis: Their prevalence and clinical implications

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Luis Madeira, Ilaria Bonoldi, Matteo Rocchetti, Carly Samson, Matilda Azis, Beverly Queen, Matthijs Bossong, Jesus Perez, James Stone, Paul Allen, Oliver D. Howes, Philip McGuire, Andrea Raballo, Paolo Fusar-Poli, Massimo Ballerini, Giovanni Stanghellini

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Early online date23 Dec 2015
E-pub ahead of print23 Dec 2015
Published1 Apr 2016


King's Authors


Background Contemporary phenomenological research has considered abnormal bodily phenomena (ABP) to be a phenotypic trait of subjects with schizophrenia in their first psychotic episode. Yet the prevalence of ABP and their clinical significance in subjects at Ultra High Risk (UHR) of psychosis remain unidentified. This study is an exploratory investigation of ABP in UHR subjects and matched healthy controls (HCs) examining their relation to clinical features and basic self-disturbances. Methods A sample of 26 UHR and 14 HC subjects from three prodromal and early intervention clinics in South London, West London and Cambridge was assessed with the Abnormal Bodily Phenomena questionnaire (ABPq), Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS) and the Examination of Anomalous Self Experiences (EASE) checklist. Results In our sample ABP occurred in 73.1% of UHR subjects and prominent ABP (proABP) were referred in 53.8% of them. No HC subject reported ABP. The UHR group with proABP had lower CAARMS total score (t = - 9.265, p = 0.006). There were no differences in PANSS total score (t = - 1.235, p = 0.277), SOFAS score (H(2) 22.27, p = 0.666) and EASE total scores (z = 8.565, adjusted p = 0.185) in the UHR subjects with prominent ABP versus those that did not. Discussion This initial investigation suggests that ABP could be a prevalent phenotypic feature of UHR subjects.

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