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Inter-rater reliability of subthreshold psychotic symptoms in individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome



Pathways leading to psychosis in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) have been the focus of intensive research during the last two decades. One of the common clinical risk factors for the evolution of psychosis in 22q11.2DS is the presence of positive and negative subthreshold psychotic symptoms. The gold standard for measuring subthreshold symptoms is the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) and its accompanying Scale of Prodromal Symptoms (SOPS) ratings. Although the scale has been used by many centers studying 22q11.2DS, the inter-site reliability of the scale in this population has never been established.


In the present study, experienced clinical assessors from three large international centers studying 22q11.2DS independently rated video recordings of 18 adolescents and young adults with 22q11.2DS.


The intraclass correlations coefficients (ICCs) among three raters for the SOPS total scores, as well as for the positive, negative, and disorganization subscale scores, were good-to-excellent (ICCs range 0.73-0.93). The raters were also able to reliably determine the subjects' subthreshold syndrome status (ICC = 0.71). The reliability of individual items was good-to-excellent for all items, ranging from 0.61 for motor disturbances [G3] to 0.95 for bizarre thinking.


Our results show that trained clinicians can reliably screen for subthreshold psychotic symptoms in individuals with 22q11.2DS. To increase assessment reliability, we suggest specific clarifications and simplifications to the standard SIPS interview for future studies.

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