Diagnosis of a clinical high-risk (CHR) state enables timely treatment of individuals at risk for a psychotic disorder, thereby contributing to improving illness outcomes. However, only a minority of patients diagnosed with CHR will make the transition to overt psychosis. To identify patients most likely to benefit from early intervention, several studies have investigated characteristics that distinguish CHR patients who will later develop a psychotic disorder from those who will not. We aimed to summarize evidence from systematic reviews and meta-analyses on predictors of transition to psychosis in CHR patients, among characteristics and biomarkers assessed at baseline. A systematic search was conducted in Pubmed, Scopus, PsychInfo and Cochrane databases to identify reviews and meta-analyses of studies that investigated specific baseline predictors or biomarkers for transition to psychosis in CHR patients using a cross-sectional or longitudinal design. Non-peer-reviewed publications, gray literature, narrative reviews and publications not written in English were excluded from analyses. We provide a narrative synthesis of results from all included reviews and meta-analyses. For each included publication, we indicate the number of studies cited in each domain and its quality rating. A total of 40 publications (21 systematic reviews and 19 meta-analyses) that reviewed a total of 272 original studies qualified for inclusion. Baseline predictors most consistently associated with later transition included clinical characteristics such as attenuated psychotic and negative symptoms and functioning, verbal memory deficits and the electrophysiological marker of mismatch negativity. Few predictors reached a level of evidence sufficient to inform clinical practice, reflecting generalizability issues in a field characterized by studies with small, heterogeneous samples and relatively few transition events. Sample pooling and harmonization of methods across sites and projects are necessary to overcome these limitations.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)