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Why transition risk to psychosis is not declining at the OASIS ultra high risk service: The hidden role of stable pretest risk enrichment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

P. Fusar-Poli, E. Palombini, C. Davies, D. Oliver, I. Bonoldi, V. Ramella-Cravaro, P. McGuire

Original languageEnglish
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Early online date20 Jul 2017
StateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jul 2017

King's Authors


Background: The reason for declining risk to psychosis across individuals assessed and meeting Ultra High Risk (UHR) criteria is still unclear. No studies have investigated the potential substantial role of the underlying risk enrichment across all the individuals undergoing an UHR assessment.

Methods: Cohort study including all non-psychotic subjects who were assessed on suspicion of psychosis risk by the OASIS UHR service in the period 2001 to 2015. Posttest (after UHR assessment) and pretest risk (before UHR assessment) of psychosis were stratified and compared across three time periods (2001–2005, 2006–2010, 2011–2015) with Cox analysis and modulating factors were investigated.

Results: The posttest risk of psychosis at the OASIS service has increased from the initial pilot years of the service (2001–2005) and then stabilised and not declined over the following decade (2006–2010 and 2011–2015). This was paralleled by a similar course of pretest risk for psychosis. Stability of pretest risk for psychosis over the past decade was associated with a lack of change in ethnicity and to counterweighting changes in the type of referral sources over different time periods.

Conclusions: The time course of transition risk to psychosis in UHR services is strictly associated with the time course of pretest risk enrichment. If the latter remains stable over time, as for the OASIS service, no declining transition risk is observed over the most recent years. Pretest risk enrichment is determined by recruitment and sampling strategies. This study confirms the need to control these factors in the UHR field.

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