Prevalence of self-reported childhood abuse in psychosis: A meta-analysis of retrospective studies

Ilaria Bonoldi, Ercole Simeone, Matteo Rocchetti, Louisa Codjoe, Giorgio Rossi, Francesco Gambi, Umberto Balottin, Edgardo Caverzasi, Pierluigi Politi, Paolo Fusar-Poli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is extensive clinical literature reporting traumatic childhood experiences in patients with psychosis. A quantitative meta-analysis addressing the prevalence of self-reported childhood sexual (CSA), physical (CPA) and emotional abuse (CEA) in psychotic patients has yet to be done. We conducted, a systematic literature search to identify retrospective studies addressing self-reported childhood abuse in patients with DSM/ICD psychosis. Demographic, clinical, and methodological variables were extracted from each publication, or obtained directly from its authors. Quantitative meta-analysis of CSA, CPA, CEA in the sample of patients was performed. Statistical heterogeneity and publication bias were assessed and meta-regressions performed to control for different moderators.Twenty-three studies were retrieved and included a total of 2017 psychotic patients. The prevalence of self-reported CSA, CPA, CEA were respectively of 26%, 39% and 34%. Age, publication year, gender and substance abuse moderated CSA, while age, clinical setting and substance abuse moderated CPA. Results indicated that CEA was moderated by gender and publication year of the study. According to our meta-analysis, psychotic patients have a consistently high self-report of childhood traumatic events which are sexual, physical and emotional in nature. It is our opinion that clinicians should be trained and skilled to carefully investigate childhood abuse in psychosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 30 2013


  • Child abuse
  • Childhood trauma
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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