Influence of childhood trauma on diagnosis and substance use in first-episode psychosis

S Tomassi, S Tosato, V Mondelli, C Faravelli, A Lasalvia, G Fioravanti, C Bonetto, A Fioritti, C Cremonese, R Lo Parrino, K De Santi, A Meneghelli, S Torresani, G De Girolamo, E Semrov, M Pratelli, D Cristofalo, M Ruggeri

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BackgroundChildhood trauma has been significantly associated with first-episode psychosis, affective dysfunction and substance use.AimsTo test whether people with first-episode psychosis who had experienced childhood trauma, when compared with those who had not, showed a higher rate of affective psychosis and an increased lifetime rate of substance use.MethodThe sample comprised 345 participants with first-episode psychosis (58% male, mean age 29.8 years, s.d. = 9.7).ResultsSevere sexual abuse was significantly associated with a diagnosis of affective psychosis (χ2 = 4.9, P = 0.04) and with higher rates of lifetime use of cannabis (68% v 41%; P = 0.02) and heroin (20% v 5%; P = 0.02). Severe physical abuse was associated with increased lifetime use of heroin (15% v 5%; P = 0.03) and cocaine (32% v 17%; P = 0.05).ConclusionsPatients with first-episode psychosis exposed to childhood trauma appear to constitute a distinctive subgroup in terms of diagnosis and lifetime substance use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


  • Journal Article


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