BACKGROUND: Patients at ultra-high risk for psychosis (UHR) are a highly heterogeneous group in terms of clinical and functional outcomes. Several non-psychotic mental disorders co-occur together with the UHR state. Little is known about the impact of non-psychotic comorbid mental disorders on clinical and functional outcomes of UHR patients. METHODS: The sample included 154 UHR help-seeking patients (identified with the CAARMS, comprehensive assessment of the at-risk mental state), evaluated at baseline on the Ham-D, Ham-A (Hamilton depression/anxiety rating scale), and PANSS (positive and negative syndrome scale). 74 patients completed the 6-year follow-up assessment (mean=6.19, SD=1.87). Comorbid disorders at follow-up were assessed with the SCID I and II. Global functioning was rated on the global assessment of functioning (GAF) scale. RESULTS: In the present sample, 6-year risk of psychosis transition was 28.4%. Among non-transitioned UHR patients, 28.3% reported attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS) and 45.3% remained functionally impaired at follow-up (GAF<60). 56.8% patients were affected by at least one comorbid disorder at follow-up. Among UHR patients who presented with some comorbid disorder at baseline, 61.5% had persistent or recurrent course. Incident comorbid disorders emerged in 45.4% of baseline UHR patients. The persistence or recurrence of non-psychotic comorbid mental disorders was associated with poorer global functional outcomes at follow-up. LIMITATIONS: A substantial proportion of the initial sample was not available for follow-up interviews and some groups in the analyses had small sample size. Predictors of longitudinal outcomes were not explored. CONCLUSIONS: Among UHR patients, persistence or recurrence of non-psychotic comorbid mental disorders, mostly affective disorders, is associated with 6-year poor functional outcomes.
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