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Wednesday, October 10 • 2:50pm - 3:10pm
Symposium 28, Talk 1. "Continuity in patterns of co-occurring symptoms across psychopathology severity levels"

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Robin Groen1, Johanna Wigman1, Marieke Wichers1, Catharina Hartman1; 1University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Psychiatry, Interdisciplinary Center Psychopathology and Emotion Regulation, Groningen, the Netherlands
Early stages of psychopathology frequently manifest as a ‘mixed bag of symptoms’, which may develop into increasingly specific symptom patterns over time as mental ill-health progresses. However, high comorbidity rates in diagnosed individuals do not support this notion of specificity. Using a transdiagnostic, network approach, we investigated symptom co-occurrence in groups with increasing psychopathology severity. As such, we aimed to address the question whether there is continuity in heterogeneous symptom patterns across severity of psychopathology. For that purpose network connectivity and communities were examined in psychopathology symptoms across groups of different severity. Four groups were derived based on a diagnostic interview conducted at age 19 (n=1933; TRAILS cohort). For each group a separate symptom network was estimated. Symptoms were measured by items of the Adult Self Report (ASR). Pairwise comparisons across groups showed a significant difference (p = 0.014) in overall network structure between the two lowest severity groups, but no other differences between the groups.  Although minor differences existed in the types of network communities, most community structures replicated across groups. The consistency between groups in overall network strength, and in number and type of communities suggests that patterns of co-occurring symptoms across various levels of severity are more similar than different from each other. Hence we tentatively conclude that continuity in the patterns of symptom combinations exist across severity levels. This contrasts with the idea of increasing specificity in symptom combinations as psychopathology gets more severe.


Robin Groen

University Medical Center Groningen

Wednesday October 10, 2018 2:50pm - 3:10pm EDT
American Ballroom-South Westin Copley Place, fourth floor

Attendees (6)