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Can the early symptoms of attenuated psychosis syndrome be recognized: Caregivers’ perspective

Sarada Prasanna Swain, Sushree Sangita Behura, Saumya Swaroop Sahoo.


Abstract

Background: Identification of symptoms of early-onset psychosis is one of the longstanding researches in mental health. As these early symptoms cause functional impairment, it necessitates early management of psychosis.

Objectives: To identify various symptom clusters recognized by caregivers in Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome (APS). It was also intended to assess the functioning level of patients and pathway of help seeking clinically.

Materials and Methods: In a hospital-based cross-sectional study, 36 key relatives of patients of APS were chosen from the outpatient department of a tertiary center in psychiatry. Care givers reported the symptoms using a semi-structured 44 items symptom schedule, which was divided into four groups (positive, negative, vegetative, and depressive/anxious symptoms). Data were analyzed for percentages of responses and principal component analysis.

Results: There was equal representation of the genders in the sample. The mean age of the study population is 27.1 ± 8.9 years. The caregivers could recognize the depressive/anxious, negative symptoms, and vegetative symptoms more easily. Principal component analysis suggested four cluster symptoms (Eigenvalue >0.3). The mean GAF score was 57.5 ± 8.67 suggesting a considerable functional decline in these patients.

Conclusion: It appears that APS has more depressive/anxious, negative and vegetative symptoms which can be easily identified by the caregivers and grouped into four clusters. Considering the functional impairment and variations in the help-seeking, there is a need to highlight the treatment needs and psycho-education.

Key words: Caregivers; Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome; Functioning; Symptom Cluster






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