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Changes in appearance and schizotypy in normal subjects

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à Campo J, Nijman H, Merckelbach H. Changes in appearance and schizotypy in normal subjects. Background: 

Anecdotal reports suggest that drastic changes in physical appearance may signal psychotic decompensation in schizophrenic patients. Objective: 

The current study sought to explore the association between changes in appearance and psychotic vulnerability in a more systematic fashion. Methods: 

A sample of undergraduates (n = 171) completed the Changes in Appearance Scale (CAS), which assesses frequency and nature of changes in outlook, along with a Schizotypy Scale (STA), the Maudsley Obsessive Compulsive Inventory (MOCI), the Fear Questionnaire (FQ) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Results: 

A modest but significant correlation was found between the CAS and STA scores. For the other symptom measures (MOCI, FQ, and BDI), no association with self-reported changes in physical appearance emerged. Conclusions: 

Changes in physical appearance are found to be significantly associated to mild (pre)psychotic symptoms.

Keywords: physical appearance; psychosis; schizophrenia; schizotypy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Psychiatric Hospital Mondriaan, Heerlen; 2: Forensic Psychiatric Hospital de Kijvelanden, Poortugaal; and 3: Department of Psychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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