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A History of Trauma is Associated with Aggression, Depression, Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Behavior, and Suicide Ideation in First-Episode Psychosis


The association between trauma and psychosis outcomes is well-established, and yet the impact of trauma on comorbid clinical symptoms-such as aggression, non-suicidal self-injury behavior (NSSIB), suicide ideation, and suicide behavior-for those with psychosis is unclear. To effectively treat those with first-episode psychosis (FEP) and a history of trauma, we need to understand the impact of trauma on their whole presentation. FEP participants were recruited from an Early Psychosis Program (N = 187, ages 12-35, 72.2% male). Clinicians gathered history of trauma, aggression, and suicide data, and rated current symptom severity and functioning. Data was coded using clinician rated measures, self-report measures, and retrospective clinical chart review. Regression analyses examined whether trauma was associated with a history of aggression, suicidal ideation, suicide behavior, NSSIB, symptoms, and functioning. Trauma was associated with aggression, aggression severity and type of aggression (aggression towards others). Trauma was also associated with depression severity, suicide ideation, most severe suicide ideation, and NSSIB. Trauma was not associated with suicide behavior, severity of suicide behavior or psychosocial functioning. Integrating trauma treatment into FEP care could reduce rates of depression, aggression, suicide ideation, and NSSIB for those with a history of trauma. To reduce suicide attempt occurrence and improve functioning, more research is needed.

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