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53. Risk Factors For Psychotic-Like Experiences and Associated Distress in a Large International Sample
Schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) disproportionately contribute a social burden in terms of years of productivity lost and cost of care. Additionally, SSDs require intensive treatment and often lose efficacy over time. For these reasons, there has been an increased interest in identifying those at clinical high-risk for psychosis (CHR). Several studies have identified risk factors for the presence of psychotic-like experiences, but few have looked at risk factors for distressing psychotic-like experiences, which may be a more sensitive and specific predictor of later SSD diagnosis. Here, we investigate demographic and environmental risk factors for the frequency of distressing psychotic-like experiences. We collected data from 5,691 participants through TestMyBrain.org who completed the Prodromal Questionnaire–Brief (PQ-B), and voluntarily provided demographic information. The participant’s location was used in conjunction with census data in order to create demographic density variables, which provide the proportion of individuals in that participant’s census area who share that participant’s age, gender, or race. Demographic data and density variables were used in regression models to predict PQ-B frequency and distress scores. Similar to prior findings on risk factors for SSD, we find that individuals who are younger, have less education, are Hispanic, are of a minority race, and live in areas with lower age density experience more psychotic-like experiences, while only hispanicity and ethnic density predicted distress. These findings help to distinguish between risk factors for the presence of psychotic-like experiences versus those for distressing psychotic-like experiences, which ultimately may be a better indicator for later SSD diagnoses and could lead to more effective psychosis-risk interventions.