Prevalence and outcomes of young people with concurrent autism spectrum disorder and first episode of psychosis

Monica Sunwoo, Jessica O'Connell, Ellie Brown, Ashleigh Lin, Stephen J. Wood, Patrick McGorry, Brian O'Donoghue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The intersect and blurring of boundaries between schizophrenia spectrum disorders and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has long been an area of confusion, in both nosology and clinical practice. Individuals with a comorbid presentation of the two spectra can present with a distinct phenomenological profile to those with psychosis or ASD alone. Aims: To examine the prevalence rates of ASD in a cohort of young people presenting with a first episode of psychosis (FEP) and compare the demographic and clinical characteristics and functional outcomes between individuals with concurrent FEP and ASD, and individuals with FEP only. Methods: Young people aged 15 to 24 who presented with FEP to the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre (EPPIC) between 1st January 2011 and 31st December 2013 were included in the study. Results: Of the 544 individuals presenting with a FEP, 3.7% (N = 20) had a diagnosis of ASD. Individuals with a concurrent diagnosis of FEP and ASD were more likely to be male and less likely to have comorbid substance use issues. There was no difference found in the severity of psychotic symptoms or diagnoses between groups. Those with FEP and ASD were more likely to experience impairments in interpersonal skills and be more likely to be engaged in employment or education at time of discharge from service. Conclusions: Individuals with concurrent FEP and ASD can present with distinct clinical characteristics that require specialised assessment and treatment. Further large-scale studies with control groups could help to better understand the phenomenological specificity of this subgroup.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSchizophrenia Research
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Nov 2019

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Psychotic Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Confusion
Schizophrenia
Demography
Education
Control Groups

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Sunwoo, Monica ; O'Connell, Jessica ; Brown, Ellie ; Lin, Ashleigh ; Wood, Stephen J. ; McGorry, Patrick ; O'Donoghue, Brian. / Prevalence and outcomes of young people with concurrent autism spectrum disorder and first episode of psychosis. In: Schizophrenia Research. 2019.
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abstract = "Background: The intersect and blurring of boundaries between schizophrenia spectrum disorders and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has long been an area of confusion, in both nosology and clinical practice. Individuals with a comorbid presentation of the two spectra can present with a distinct phenomenological profile to those with psychosis or ASD alone. Aims: To examine the prevalence rates of ASD in a cohort of young people presenting with a first episode of psychosis (FEP) and compare the demographic and clinical characteristics and functional outcomes between individuals with concurrent FEP and ASD, and individuals with FEP only. Methods: Young people aged 15 to 24 who presented with FEP to the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre (EPPIC) between 1st January 2011 and 31st December 2013 were included in the study. Results: Of the 544 individuals presenting with a FEP, 3.7{\%} (N = 20) had a diagnosis of ASD. Individuals with a concurrent diagnosis of FEP and ASD were more likely to be male and less likely to have comorbid substance use issues. There was no difference found in the severity of psychotic symptoms or diagnoses between groups. Those with FEP and ASD were more likely to experience impairments in interpersonal skills and be more likely to be engaged in employment or education at time of discharge from service. Conclusions: Individuals with concurrent FEP and ASD can present with distinct clinical characteristics that require specialised assessment and treatment. Further large-scale studies with control groups could help to better understand the phenomenological specificity of this subgroup.",
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Prevalence and outcomes of young people with concurrent autism spectrum disorder and first episode of psychosis. / Sunwoo, Monica; O'Connell, Jessica; Brown, Ellie; Lin, Ashleigh; Wood, Stephen J.; McGorry, Patrick; O'Donoghue, Brian.

In: Schizophrenia Research, 29.11.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - O'Donoghue, Brian

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