Individuals at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis have been shown to experience more trauma than the general population. However, although the effects of trauma appear to impact some symptoms it does not seem to increase the risk of transition to psychosis. The aim of this article was to examine the prevalence of trauma, and its association with longitudinal clinical and functional outcomes in a large sample of CHR individuals.
From the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study-3 (NAPLS-3) 690 CHR individuals and 91 healthy controls from nine study sites between 2015 and 2018 were assessed. Historical trauma experiences were captured at baseline. Participants completed longitudinal assessments measuring clinical outcomes including positive and negative symptoms, depression, social and role functioning and assessing transition to psychosis.
From the 690 CHR participants and 96 healthy controls, 343 (49.6%) and 15 (15.6%), respectively, reported a history of trauma (p < .001). Emotional neglect (70.3%) was the most commonly reported type of trauma, followed by psychological abuse (57.4%). Among CHR participants, time to transition to psychosis was not associated with trauma. Baseline depression and suspiciousness/persecutory ideas were statistically significantly different between CHR individuals who did or did not experience trauma. However, when examining clinical and functional outcomes over 12-months of follow-up, there were no differences between those who experienced trauma and those who did not.
Overall, trauma is a significantly prevalent among CHR individuals. The effects of trauma on transition and longitudinal clinical and functional outcomes were not significant.