OBJECTIVE: To analyze, in a general population sample, clustering of delusional and hallucinatory experiences in relation to environmental exposures and clinical parameters.
METHOD: General population-based household surveys of randomly selected adults between 18 and 65 years of age were carried out.
SETTING: 52 countries participating in the World Health Organization's World Health Survey were included.
PARTICIPANTS: 225 842 subjects (55.6% women), from nationally representative samples, with an individual response rate of 98.5% within households participated.
RESULTS: Compared with isolated delusions and hallucinations, co-occurrence of the two phenomena was associated with poorer outcome including worse general health and functioning status (OR = 0.93; 95% CI: 0.92-0.93), greater severity of symptoms (OR = 2.5 95% CI: 2.0-3.0), higher probability of lifetime diagnosis of psychotic disorder (OR = 12.9; 95% CI: 11.5-14.4), lifetime treatment for psychotic disorder (OR = 19.7; 95% CI: 17.3-22.5), and depression during the last 12 months (OR = 11.6; 95% CI: 10.9-12.4). Co-occurrence was also associated with adversity and hearing problems (OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.8-2.3).
CONCLUSION: The results suggest that the co-occurrence of hallucinations and delusions in populations is not random but instead can be seen, compared with either phenomenon in isolation, as the result of more etiologic loading leading to a more severe clinical state.
- risk factors
- cross-sectional studies
- hearing disorders
- health status
- health surveys
- severity of illness index
- psychotic disorders
- World Health Organization