Background. Apart from individuals with clinical psychosis, community surveys have shown that many otherwise well individuals endorse items designed to identify psychosis. The aim of this study was to characterize the demographic correlates of individuals who endorse psychosis screening items in a large general community sample.
Method. The National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing interviewed 10641 individuals living in private dwellings in Australia. As part of a diagnostic interview (the CIDI), respondents were asked between three and six items originally designed to screen for potential psychosis. We examined the impact of selected demographic variables on endorsement of these items including sex, age, marital status, migrant status, urban/rural status, employment, education, and socio-economic status.
Results. An estimated 11·7% of the Australian population endorsed at least one psychosis-screening item. Significantly higher endorsement was associated with younger age, migrants from non-English-speaking backgrounds, those who had never married or who were divorced/separated or unemployed, those living in urban regions and those from the lowest socio-economic levels.
Conclusions. Many of the correlates of endorsement of psychosis-screen items are also associated with psychosis. Unravelling the factors that contribute to this broader non-clinical phenotype will aid our understanding of psychosis.
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