Qualitative analysis of interviews of future non-affective psychotic disorder patients and non-psychiatric controls: Preliminary results

Katya Rubinstein, Rivka Tuval-Mashiach, Ortal Bhuknik-Atzil, Suzanne Fund, Abraham Reichenberg, Eyal Fruchter, Mark Weiser

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1 Scopus citations


Background: Previous research has shown that people with psychotic disorders have impaired functioning prior to the onset of the illness. The goal of this study is to obtain a detailed, in depth, analysis of the characteristics of premorbid impairment. Methods: In this study we examined summaries of interviews with 20 male adolescents who were later diagnosed with non-affective psychotic disorders and compared them to interviews conducted with 20 matched controls without psychiatric disorders. The current study applied a qualitative analysis, performed in the following stages: each interview was read thoroughly by two blinded raters with no a-priori hypothesis, and then key themes and statements were identified and organized into meaningful domains. Afterwards, the frequency of each item was calculated and comparisons between the groups were performed. Results: Future non-affective psychotic disorder patients were more likely to be described as strange or different, be involved in violent behavior, experience difficulties in educational functioning and peer integration, deal with problems in everyday functioning and have an avoidant interpersonal conflict resolution style in comparison with matched controls without psychiatric disorders. In addition, future patients experienced more stressful life events and dealt with these stressors more poorly in comparison with controls. Conclusions: The findings of this unique historical-prospective qualitative analysis of interviews performed before the onset of psychosis, confirmed previous findings of premorbid abnormality of future non-affective psychosis patients. Using qualitative analysis enabled obtaining a more in-depth understanding of the real-life experience of the premorbid period among patients with non-affective psychotic disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e35-e39
JournalSchizophrenia Research: Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Premorbid functioning
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Schizophrenia


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