Self-reported symptoms and health service use in adolescence in persons who later develop psychotic disorders: A prospective case-control study.


Aim: To investigate self-reported psychiatric and somatic symptoms and health service use at age 16 in persons who later developed a psychotic disorder compared with a control group from the same geographical areas. Method: Responses concerning psychiatric or somatic health and health service use from Norwegian youth studies in a cohort of 15- and 16-year-olds in three Norwegian counties (N = 11 101, 90% response rate) were gathered. The questionnaire responses from persons later identified with a lifetime diagnosis of DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) psychotic disorders (n = 30) (confirmed psychosis, CP) were compared with responses from the rest of the group (population control, PC) (n = 11 067). Follow-up analyses were made for cases with a confirmed onset of a psychotic disorder after the time of the survey (n = 21). Results: The main significant differences between the CP and PC groups were more self-reported anxiety, depression and ‘feeling in need of treatment for eating disorders’ at age 16 in the CP group. The rate of self-reported eating disorder symptoms alone reached the level of statistical significance in the follow-up analyses. The CP group did not use available health services to a markedly greater extent than the control group. Conclusion: We found that, in comparison with others, youths who were later identified with a psychotic disorder reported more symptoms at age 16.