ABSTRACT: Individuals at "ultra high risk" (UHR) for psychosis have been found to experience high rates of sexual trauma. An aetiological role for sexual trauma has been proposed for psychotic disorders and may influence psychotic symptom content. We aimed to investigate the relationship between previous sexual trauma and reported psychotic-like experiences, in particular psychotic symptoms with a sexual content in a UHR sample. We investigated the prevalence of "attenuated" or "subthreshold" psychotic symptoms with a sexual content in a consecutive series of patients recruited to a specialist UHR clinic. Patient's experience of general and sexual trauma was rated separately using a trauma questionnaire based on the list of events qualifying as traumas under DSM IV. The sample consisted of 92 patients, 14 (15.2%) had experienced an attenuated psychotic symptom with sexual content. The most common symptom was overvalued ideas/delusions of being watched in the shower/toilet or undressing. A considerable proportion of the sample (36.2%) had experienced sexual trauma (sexually molested or raped). Presence of attenuated psychotic symptoms with sexual content was related to history of previous sexual trauma (OR 7.17, P<0.01). This relationship remained significant when other traumatic experiences, PTSD diagnosis, age and sex were adjusted for. Further research into this relationship with regard to outcome and treatment is warranted.
Psychiatry Research 03/2010; 177(1-2):84-91. · 2.52 Impact Factor