Psychosis-like experiences may be clinically significant given their demonstrated associations with concurrent psychological distress and the later development of diagnosable psychotic disorders. Prior studies of treatment for psychosis-like experiences have yielded conflicting results. The aims of this study were to investigate help seeking and need for care among individuals with psychosis-like experiences in a large general population sample.
Data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (N=10,541) were used to examine help-seeking behaviors among survey respondents who reported psychosis-like symptoms over a 12-month period. Adjusted odds ratios were calculated for a variety of help-seeking variables, with control for demographic factors and co-occurring psychiatric conditions.
Among the 10,541 respondents, 3.4% reported a psychosis-like experience in the past 12 months. Respondents who reported psychosis-like experiences were more than twice as likely as those who did not to seek treatment. Those who reported such experiences but who did not seek treatment were more likely to have felt the need for or to have been encouraged by others to seek treatment and less likely to have felt that they had no psychiatric problem. Associations with unmet need for care were largely attributable to co-occurring psychiatric disorders.
Respondents with psychosis-like experiences had elevated rates of help seeking, as well as significant unmet clinical need among those not in treatment.