Evaluation of the validity and utility of a transdiagnostic psychosis dimension encompassing schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Ulrich Reininghaus, Jan Rasmus Boehnke, Georgina Hosang, Anne Farmer, Tom Burns, Peter McGuffin, Richard P. Bentall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background In recent years, the Kraepelinian dichotomy has been challenged in light of evidence on shared genetic and environmental factors for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but empirical efforts to identify a transdiagnostic phenotype of psychosis remain remarkably limited. Aims To investigate whether schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorder lie on a transdiagnostic spectrum with overlapping non-affective and affective psychotic symptoms. Method Multidimensional item-response modelling was conducted on symptom ratings of the OPerational CRITeria (OPCRIT) system in 1168 patients with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorder. Results A bifactor model with one general, transdiagnostic psychosis dimension underlying affective and non-affective psychotic symptoms and five specific dimensions of positive, negative, disorganised, manic and depressive symptoms provided the best model fit and diagnostic utility for categorical classification. Conclusions Our findings provide support for including dimensional approaches into classification systems and a directly measurable clinical phenotype for cross-disorder investigations into shared genetic and environmental factors of psychosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
U.R. is supported by a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship of the UK National Institute of Health Research (grant no. NIHR-PDF-201104065) and a Veni grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (grant no. 451-13-022). The report is independent research and the views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016.

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