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143. Relationship between Preventative Health Care Engagement and Attenuated Symptoms of Psychosis in the High-Risk for Psychosis Population
Previous research has indicated that schizophrenia may be a spectrum disorder, and that individuals who endorse experiences consistent with attenuated psychosis lie on this spectrum. Individuals that present with traits which indicate a high risk for psychosis may report similar, though attenuated, deficits that are seen in individuals with schizophrenia. A consistent finding in the schizophrenia research literature is the comorbidity of poor physical and mental health. There are several barriers to accessing health care in the clinical population, including cost, motivation, and transportation. Individuals at a high risk for psychosis that do not have a diagnosis of schizophrenia typically experience fewer barriers to accessing health care, allowing for the opportunity to examine the effects of preventative health behaviors and healthcare engagement on mental health symptoms and Quality of Life. The primary hypothesis of this study is that individuals that regularly engage in health care services will report experiencing higher levels of health satisfaction, higher scores on the Quality of Life Inventory, and will less frequently endorse distressing or impairing mental health symptoms, specifically attenuated symptoms of psychosis as measured by the Prodromal Questionnaire, and symptoms of depression and anxiety as measured by the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale. Conversely, individuals with limited access to or engagement in preventative health care are hypothesized to report experiencing lower levels of health satisfaction, have lower scores on the Quality of Life Inventory, and more frequently endorse distressing or impairing mental health symptoms. Data analysis strategies include correlations between measure scores and structural equation modelling to assess the potential moderator of income level. Findings that support the hypotheses indicate a need for increased access to preventative health care, both for individuals at a high risk for psychosis and for individuals in the clinical population that may experience an increase in symptoms due to low access to health care.