Psychotic experiences, traumatic events, and common mental disorders in Thailand
: Results from the 2013 Thai National Mental Health Survey

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy


In recent years, efforts were made to improve the understanding of the nature and origin of psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia. Although progress has been made, it is still a long way to achieve satisfactory treatment or prevention methods. Psychotic experiences, mostly transitory hallucinations and delusions found to be common in the general population, have emerged as a possible candidate to fill the gaps in our knowledge in this area. Data, especially from high-income countries, have consistently shown that psychotic experience has similar associated factors like psychosis. In the understanding of their associations, it may be possible to understand psychosis better. Using the 2013 Thai National Mental Health Survey data, a nation-wide cross-sectional survey of 4,727 participants, this thesis sought to elucidate the association between psychotic experience and population density, traumatic events, and common mental disorders.

We found that the prevalence of psychotic experiences is 5.9% in the Thai general population. Unemployment was the only socioeconomic factor, other than the region of living, found to be associated with any psychotic experience. For the latter, unlike results from high-income economies, the highest prevalence of psychotic experience in Thailand observed was not in Bangkok, the region with the highest population density. There was also evidence that exposure to traumatic events is associated with any psychotic experience. Still, this association is not identical for every type of trauma nor the number of traumas exposed. Common mental disorders were also found to be associated with psychotic experiences. Moreover, we found evidence that the association between traumatic events and psychotic experience may be mediated through common mental disorders in some instances.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to look at psychotic experience, traumatic events, their association and their association with common mental disorders and other socioeconomic factors. The outcomes established will help fill the gap in the knowledge on psychotic experience and psychosis and could potentially help form the basis for further investigations on the subject and optimistically led to a better service for people at high risk for psychosis in Thailand and beyond.

Date of Award1 Jun 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorUlrich Reininghaus (Supervisor) & Craig Morgan (Supervisor)

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