Hallucinatory experiences, delusional thought proneness, and psychological distress in a nonclinical population

Antonio Preti, Erika Bonventre, Valentina Ledda, Donatella Rita Petretto, Carmelo Masala
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2007, 195 (6): 484-91
Despite evidence that the reporting of delusion-like or hallucinatory experiences are predictive of the future development of a mental disorder in the spectrum of psychosis, the exact nature of such a kind of unusual subjective experience in the general population is still disputed. We investigated the multidimensionality of these experiences with the Peters et al. Delusions Inventory (PDI) and a modified Italian version of the Launay-Slade Hallucination Scale (LSHS-R) in 250 subjects of both genders drawn from the normal population, using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) as a measure of psychic distress of a clinically relevant nature. We found that GHQ scores are positively related to both the PDI and the LSHS-R scores, but the GHQ did not act as a mediator in the links between the 2 psychosis-proneness measures. Conversely, the LSHS-R scores fully mediated the links between GHQ and PDI scores. It can be argued that hallucination proneness and psychosis proneness do not overlap in the nonclinical population but can both cause distress separately.

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