EA Carbone, V Pugliese, A Bruni, M Aloi, G Calabrò, MJ Jaén-Moreno, C Segura-Garcia and P De Fazio,
Journal of affective disorders, Aug 2019 19
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are risk factors for psychiatric disorders, but evidence about their relationship with clinical severity is limited. We aimed to classify patients according to ACEs and to compare these clusters with regards to the clinical severity.Seventy-four patients with Bipolar Disorder (BD) and 91 patients with a diagnosis within the Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (SSDs) were interviewed. The Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse scale (CECA) and the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS) were administered. A two-step cluster analysis was run to identify clusters according to ACEs. PANSS average scores were compared between clusters.Three clusters emerged; significant differences in ACEs distribution were evident. Cluster 1 was characterized by very low frequency of ACEs. ACEs related to lack of support/isolation were more frequent within Cluster 2, instead ACEs related to abuse/neglect were over represented in Cluster 3. The comparison of PANSS through ANOVA demonstrated that Cluster 3 not only had significantly higher scores in all dimensions than Cluster 1 and 2 but also a higher average number of ACEs.CECA is a self-report scale and is subject to recall bias.Specific ACEs are related to clinical severity among BD and SSD patients. Early life adversities related to abuse and neglect are associated to greater symptomatic severity than those related to lack of support/isolation. Our findings suggest that a history of ACEs could be used to identify patients at higher risk of unfavorable clinical features.