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Examination of Anomalous Self-Experience: Initial Study of the Structure of Self-Disorders in Schizophrenia Spectrum

Raballo, Andrea MD*†‡; Parnas, Josef MD, DrMedSci*†

Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: July 2012 - Volume 200 - Issue 7 - p 577–583
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31825bfb41
Original Articles

Abstract: A growing body of evidence points to the clinical and heuristic value of anomalous subjective experiences (ASEs) for the characterization of schizophrenia spectrum vulnerability and early detection purposes. In particular, a subgroup of ASEs, entailing basic disorders of self-awareness (self-disorders [SDs]), has been shown to constitute a core feature of both clinically overt and latent (schizotaxic) spectrum phenotypes. However, a major limitation for the translational implementation of this research evidence has been a lack of assessment tools capable of encompassing the clinical richness of SDs. Here, we present the initial normative data and psychometric properties of a newly developed instrument (Examination of Anomalous Self-experience [EASE]), specifically designed to support the psychopathological exploration of SDs in both research and “real world” clinical settings. Our results support the clinical validity of the EASE as a tool for assessing anomalies of self-awareness (SDs) and lend credit to the translational potential of a phenomenological exploration of the subjective experience of vulnerability to schizophrenia.

*Danish National Research Foundation: Center for Subjectivity Research, †Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Center Hvidovre, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; and ‡Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, Department of Mental Health–AUSL Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna Regional Health System, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Send reprint requests to Andrea Raballo, MD, Danish National Research Foundation: Center for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen, Njalsgade 140-142, DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark. E-mail: anr@hum.ku.dk.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.