Sensation/novelty seeking in psychotic disorders: A review of the literature.

Sensation/novelty seeking in psychotic disorders: A review of the literature.

World J Psychiatry. 2015 Mar 22;5(1):79-87

Authors: Peritogiannis V

The evaluation of personality traits is important for the better understanding of the person suffering from psychosis and for treatment individualization. However literature on patients' personality and character in such disorders is limited. The aim of this review was to summarize the literature on sensation/novelty seeking (SNS), a trait which is biologically based and highly heritable and is associated with dopamine activity, and refers to a person's tendency to seek varied, novel, complex, and intense sensations and experiences. A total of 38 studies were included in this review, involving 2808 patients and 2039 healthy controls. There is consistent evidence that this trait is independently associated with alcohol and substance abuse in patients with schizophrenia and related disorders. The estimation of SNS would help clinicians to identify patients at risk for abuse. There is also some evidence that higher SNS levels may relate to medication non-adherence and seem to increase the risk of patients' aggressive and violent behavior, but studies are scarce. SNS was found not to be related to suicidality, whereas in the fields of patients' quality of life and psychopathology results are contradictory, but most studies show no possible association. Several studies suggest that SNS is lower in psychotic patients compared to controls, whereas most yield no differences. The evidence for this trait as a potential endophenotype of schizophrenia is weak. SNS may be implicated in psychotic disorders' course and prognosis in several ways and should be always inquired for. This trait can be reliably measured with the use of easily applicable self-rated instruments, and patients' accounts could inform clinicians when planning management and delivering individualized treatment.

PMID: 25815257 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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