Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] PH196-465929-02 May 24, 2003 9:26 Style ﬁle version June 4th, 2002
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4, Winter 2003 (
A QUALITATIVE RESEARCH STUDY
OF THE EVOLUTION OF SYMPTOMS
IN INDIVIDUALS IDENTIFIED AS
PRODROMAL TO PSYCHOSIS
Cheryl Corcoran, M.D., Larry Davidson, Ph.D.,
Rachel Sills-Shahar, M.A., Connie Nickou, Ph.D.,
Dolores Malaspina, M.D., Tandy Miller, Ph.D.,
and Thomas McGlashan, M.D.
Because schizophrenia is difﬁcult to treat and exacts large personal and societal
costs, there is an effort underway to identify adolescents and young adults at
high risk for psychosis. Theory-derived criteria of subthreshold positive symp-
toms identify a “prodromal” or clinically at-risk population who have conver-
sion rates to psychosis of 40 to 50% within one to two years. However, further
characterization of the psychosis prodrome by qualitative research methods
could increase the predictive value of the “prodromal” designation. We con-
ducted open-ended interviews with 20 parents of prodromal adolescents that
focused on changes observed. The narratives fell into two thematically distinct
subgroups, identiﬁed as “declining” and “never normal.” The prodromal ado-
lescents described as “declining” had a higher subsequent rate of conversion
Cheryl Corcoran and Dolores Malaspina are afﬁliated with the New York State Psy-
chiatric Institute/Columbia University, New York, NY.
Larry Davidson, Rachel Sills-Shahar, Connie Nickou, Tandy Miller, and Thomas
McGlashan are afﬁliated with the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry,
New Haven, CT.
Address correspondence to Cheryl Corcoran, MD, New York State Psychiatric Institute,
1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2003 Human Sciences Press, Inc.