Anomalous self-experience and childhood trauma in first-episode schizophrenia

Anomalous self-experiences (ASEs) are viewed as core features of schizophrenia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Childhood trauma (CT) has been postulated as a risk factor for developing schizophrenia.

AIM: The aim of this study is to investigate the relationships between CT, depression and ASEs in schizophrenia.

METHOD: ASEs were assessed in 55 patients in the early treated phases of schizophrenia using the Examination of Anomalous Self-Experience (EASE) instrument. Data on CT were collected using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, short form (CTQ-SF). This consists of 5 subscales: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, and physical neglect. Assessment of depression was based on the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS).

RESULTS: We found significant associations between EASE total score and CTQ total score and between EASE total score and emotional neglect subscore in women, but not men. We also found significant associations between CDSS total score and CTQ total score and between CDSS total score and emotional abuse, emotional neglect, and physical neglect subscores in women, but not men. In men we did not find any significant associations between EASE total score, CDSS total score and any CTQ scores.

CONCLUSION: CT was significantly associated with higher levels of ASEs in women in the early treated phases of schizophrenia, but not in men. This again associated with an increase in depressive symptoms.

Comprehensive Psychiatry, 2015, 56, 35-41, doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2014.10.005.

Published May 11, 2015 7:00 AM