Psychosocial Stress, Interpersonal Sensitivity, and Social Withdrawal in Clinical High Risk for Psychosis: a Systematic Review

A. Georgiades, A. Almuqrin, P. Rubinic, K. Mouhitzadeh, S. Tognin, A. Mechelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Stress has repeatedly been implicated in the onset and exacerbation of positive symptoms of psychosis. Increasing interest is growing for the role of psychosocial stress in the development of psychosis symptoms in individuals at Clinical High Risk (CHR) for psychosis. A systematic review was therefore conducted to summarize the existing evidence base regarding psychosocial stress, interpersonal sensitivity, and social withdrawal in individuals at CHR for psychosis. An electronic search of Ovid (PsychINFO, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and GLOBAL HEALTH) was conducted until February 2022. Studies that examined psychosocial stress in CHR were included. Twenty-nine studies were eligible for inclusion. Psychosocial stress, interpersonal sensitivity, and social withdrawal were higher in CHR individuals compared to healthy controls and there was some evidence of their association with positive symptoms of psychosis. Two types of psychosocial stressors were found to occur more frequently with CHR status, namely daily stressors, and early and recent trauma, while significant life events did not appear to be significant. Greater exposure to psychosocial stress, emotional abuse, and perceived discrimination significantly increased risk of transition to psychosis in CHR. No studies examined the role of interpersonal sensitivity on transition to psychosis in CHR. This systematic review provides evidence for the association of trauma, daily stressors, social withdrawal, and interpersonal sensitivity with CHR status. Further studies investigating the impact of psychosocial stress on psychosis symptom expression in individuals at CHR and its effects on transition to psychosis are therefore warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Article number38
JournalSchizophrenia
Volume9
Issue number1
Early online date17 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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