Trauma and psychotic experiences: transnational data from the World Mental Health Survey

John J McGrath, Sukanta Saha, Carmen C W Lim, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Jordi Alonso, Laura H Andrade, Evelyn J Bromet, Ronny Bruffaerts, José M Caldas de Almeida, Graça Cardoso, Giovanni de Girolamo, John Fayyad, Silvia Florescu, Oye Gureje, Josep M Haro, Norito Kawakami, Karestan C Koenen, Viviane Kovess-Masfety, Sing Lee, Jean-Pierre LepineKatie A McLaughlin, Maria E Medina-Mora, Fernando Navarro-Mateu, Akin Ojagbemi, Jose Posada-Villa, Nancy Sampson, Kate M Scott, Hisateru Tachimori, Margreet Ten Have, Kenneth S Kendler, Ronald C Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


BackgroundTraumatic events are associated with increased risk of psychotic experiences, but it is unclear whether this association is explained by mental disorders prior to psychotic experience onset.AimsTo investigate the associations between traumatic events and subsequent psychotic experience onset after adjusting for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental disorders.MethodWe assessed 29 traumatic event types and psychotic experiences from the World Mental Health surveys and examined the associations of traumatic events with subsequent psychotic experience onset with and without adjustments for mental disorders.ResultsRespondents with any traumatic events had three times the odds of other respondents of subsequently developing psychotic experiences (OR = 3.1, 95% CI 2.7-3.7), with variability in strength of association across traumatic event types. These associations persisted after adjustment for mental disorders.ConclusionsExposure to traumatic events predicts subsequent onset of psychotic experiences even after adjusting for comorbid mental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
Early online date2 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


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