Potential for prediction of psychosis and bipolar disorder in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services: a longitudinal register study of all people born in Finland in 1987

Ulla Lang, Hugh Ramsay, Kathryn Yates, Juha Veijola, David Gyllenberg, Mary C. Clarke, Finbarr P. Leacy, Mika Gissler, Ian Kelleher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Current strategies to predict psychosis identify only a small proportion of individuals at risk. Additional strategies are needed to increase capacity for pre-diction and prevention of serious mental illness, ideally during childhood and adolescence. One possible approach would be to investigate systems in which psychosis risk factors are concentrated during childhood. One notable such system is represented by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Although psychotic disorders are uncommon in CAMHS, many risk factors for psychosis are highly prevalent in young people who enter this system. We hypothesized, therefore, that youth attending CAMHS would be a high-risk group for psychosis if followed into adulthood and, furthermore, that CAMHS systems would capture a substantial proportion of future psychosis cases. We constructed a total population cohort study of all Finns born in 1987 (N=55,875), linking together extensive register data on health care contacts from birth through age 28 years. We identified all individuals diagnosed with a psychotic or bipolar disorder by age 28 (N=1,785). The risk of psychosis/bipolar disorder by age 28 years was 1.8% for individuals who had not attended CAMHS during childhood or adolescence, whereas it was 12.8% for those with a history of any outpatient CAMHS contact (odds ratio, OR=7.9, 95% CI: 7.2-8.7). Furthermore, the risk of psychosis/bipolar disorder by age 28 years was 2.3% for individuals without a history of inpatient CAMHS admission, whereas it was 24.0% for those with a history of inpatient CAMHS admission (OR=13.3, 95% CI: 11.9-14.9), and 36.5% for those with a history of inpatient CAMHS admission in adolescence (age 13-17 years) (OR=24.2, 95% CI: 21.2-27.6). Individuals who attended CAMHS but received no mental disorder diagnosis had an equally high risk of subsequently developing a psychosis/bipolar disorder as individuals who did receive a diagnosis (OR=0.9, 99.5% CI: 0.7-1.1). Compared to other CAMHS attendees, individuals who developed psychosis or bipolar disorder were more likely to have had an initial CAMHS diagnosis of depressive or other mood disorder (OR=2.3, 99.5% CI: 1.6-3.0) and disruptive behaviour disorder (OR=1.7, 99.5% CI: 1.2-2.5). Of all psychosis/bipolar diagnoses by age 28 years, 50.2% occurred in individuals who had, at some point in childhood or adolescence, attended CAMHS, indicating that CAMHS represent not only a high-risk but also a high-capacity system for prediction of psychosis/bipolar disorder. These findings suggest an enormous, untapped potential for large-scale psychosis/bipolar disorder prediction and prevention research within existing specialist CAMHS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-443
JournalWorld psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA)
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Psychosis
  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar disorder
  • prediction
  • prevention
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
  • high-risk groups

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