Screening for sub-threshold psychotic experiences and perceived need for psychological services

Docia L. Demmin, Jordan E. DeVylder, Matthew R. Hilimire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Sub-threshold psychotic experiences (PEs) are common in the general population and may increase risk for psychological distress and psychosis onset, generating a need for effective community screening instruments. This study aimed to explore the utility of a brief, self-report, psychosis risk screening tool in predicting perceived need for psychological treatment among a non-clinical sample, above and beyond that accounted for by accompanying forms of psychopathology or trait neuroticism. Methods: Construct validity, predictive validity and test–retest reliability of the brief, self-report questionnaire for screening putative prepsychotic states were determined among college students (N = 679). Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to explore the relationship between PEs and perceived need for psychological services. Results: With the exception of auditory perceptual disturbances, PEs were not significantly associated with one's need for services, or the belief from others that services are needed, after controlling for neuroticism, anxiety and depressive symptoms. Auditory perceptual disturbances were significantly associated with the perceived need for psychological services, even after accounting for these additional symptoms. Conclusions: These results confirm the usefulness of the psychosis risk screening tool in evaluating the presence of sub-threshold PEs, particularly auditory perceptual disturbances. The relationship between other PEs and a perceived need for psychological services, however, was largely explained by the existence of neurotic traits and anxiety and depressive symptoms. Screening for auditory perceptual disturbances may be useful in identifying unmet clinical need among young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • hallucination
  • neuroticism
  • psychotic disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


Dive into the research topics of 'Screening for sub-threshold psychotic experiences and perceived need for psychological services'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this