Psychotic-like experiences in nonpsychotic help-seekers: Associations with distress, depression, and disability

Alison R. Yung, Joe A. Buckby, Sue M. Cotton, Elizabeth M. Cosgrave, Eoin J. Killackey, Carrie Stanford, Katherine Godfrey, Patrick D. McGorry

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209 Citations (Scopus)


Psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) increase the risk of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders yet are common in the community. Some PLEs, such as those associated with depression, distress, and poor functioning, may confer increased risk. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of PLEs in a nonpsychotic clinical sample and to investigate whether any subtypes of PLEs are associated with the above factors. Consecutive referrals to a youth psychiatric service (N = 140) were assessed to measure PLEs, depression, and functioning. PLE data were factor analyzed, and the associations of psychotic subtypes and distress, depression, and disability were analyzed. Three subtypes of PLEs were identified: Bizarre Experiences, Persecutory Ideas, and Magical Thinking. Bizarre Experiences and Persecutory Ideas were associated with distress, depression, and poor functioning. Magical Thinking was not, unless accompanied by distress. Bizarre Experiences and Persecutory Ideas may be more malignant forms of psychotic symptoms, as they are associated with current disability, and may confer increased risk of development of full-blown psychotic disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-359
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Psychosis
  • Risk
  • Schizophrenia

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