Psychotic experiences (PEs) are common in the general population but do not necessarily reflect a risk status if they occur in relative isolation or are not distressing. Emerging evidence suggests that PEs might be experienced as more benign for individuals from collectivistic low- and middleincome countries (LAMIC) compared with individualistic high-income countries (HIC). The aim of this study was to determine whether: (1) self-reported PEs are less distressing in community samples from LAMIC than from HIC; (2) the network of PEs is significantly less connected in a sample from LAMIC than from HIC. Adults from 8 HIC (n = 4669) and 5 LAMIC (n = 2472) were compared. The lifetime frequency of PEs and related distress were assessed with the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences. We analyzed the associations of PEs with distress and country type. The interconnection of PEs was visualized by a network analysis and tested for differences in global connection strengths. The average endorsement rates of PEs were significantly higher in LAMIC than in HIC (χ2 = 1772.87, P < .01, Φcramer = 0.50). There was a universal positive correlation between higher frequency of PEs and more distress, but the distress levels controlled for frequency were significantly higher in HIC (R2 = 0.11; b = 0.26; SE = 0.01; T = 17.68; P < .001). Moreover, the network of PEs was significantly less connected in LAMIC (S = 0.40, P < .05). The findings indicate that PEs are of less clinical relevance in LAMIC compared with HIC. The universal use of current high-risk criteria might thus not be adequate without consideration of associated distress and cultural values.

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Keywords psychosis continuum/high-risk status/ psychosis phenotype/culture/cross-cultural comparison/ CAPE/network approach/epidemiology/schizophrenia
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Journal Schizophrenia Bulletin
Wüsten, C., Schlier, B., Jaya, E.S., & van Beveren, N.J.M. (2018). Psychotic Experiences and Related Distress: A Cross-national Comparison and Network Analysis Based on 7141 Participants From 13 Countries. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 44(6), 1185–1194. doi:10.1093/schbul/sby087