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A systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between emotional stress reactivity and psychosis.

Authors
  • Muddle, Sarah1
  • Jones, Bradley1
  • Taylor, Gemma1
  • Jacobsen, Pamela1
  • 1 Department of Psychology, University of Bath, Bath, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Early Intervention in Psychiatry
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2022
Volume
16
Issue
9
Pages
958–978
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/eip.13247
PMID: 34904353
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Emotional stress reactivity may be a mediating factor in the association between trauma and psychosis. This review aimed to (i) identify, summarise and critically evaluate the link between emotional stress reactivity and psychotic experiences (ii) examine evidence for a 'dose-response' relationship between stress reactivity and psychosis in the wider psychosis phenotype (i.e., sub-clinical symptoms). Electronic database searches (PsychINFO, MEDLINE, EMBASE) were conducted for studies which investigated the link between stress reactivity and psychosis, psychotic symptoms, or a vulnerability to developing psychosis (wider phenotype). Cross-sectional, experimental and experience sampling method study designs were eligible for inclusion. Fourty five eligible articles were identified (N participants = 8830). Narrative synthesis showed that increased emotional stress reactivity was associated with psychosis and subclinical psychotic experiences across all study designs, however, findings were inconsistent across studies. The preliminary meta-analysis (k = 4, n = 383) showed increases in emotional stress reactivity was associated with higher negative affect in response to event-related stress, in those with psychosis compared to controls (mean difference in beta coefficients = 0.05, 95% CI 0.02-0.08, p = .004). However, this difference was small with a considerable degree of heterogeneity (p = .001, I2 = 81%) so results should be interpreted with caution. Overall, the evidence suggests that there is a link between emotional stress reactivity and psychosis in those with psychosis, those at high risk of developing psychosis and in relation to subclinical psychotic-like experiences in the general population. © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

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