Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health

ISSN: 1745-0179 ― Volume 15, 2019

Quick Identification of the Risk of Psychosis: The Italian Version of the Prodromal Questionnaire-Brief

Antonio Preti1, 2, 3, *, Andrea Raballo4, Georgios D. Kotzalidis5, Rosanna Scanu2, Tamara Muratore2, Mersia Gabbrielli2, Debora Tronci2, Carmelo Masala2, Donatella Rita Petretto2, Mauro G. Carta1
1 Center of Liaison Psychiatry and Psychosomatics, University Hospital, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
2 Section on Clinical Psychology, Department of Education, Psychology, Philosophy, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
3 Genneruxi Medical Center, Cagliari, Italy
4 Department of Psychology, Psychopathology and Development Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
5 NESMOS Department, Sapienza University, School of Medicine and Psychology, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy



Diagnosing people during the prodromal phase of an incipient psychosis can improve the chance of better outcome. In busy clinical settings, the ideal tool is a brief, easy-to-complete self-report questionnaire.


To test the psychometric properties of the Italian version of one of the most used screening tools for the identification of the risk of psychosis, the Prodromal Questionnaire-Brief (PQ-B).


Cross-sectional design. A convenience sample of college students was enrolled via snowball procedure (n=243; men: 45%). After understanding and signing the consent form, the participants received a booklet containing the following questionnaires: the 21-item Prodromal Questionnaire-Brief (PQ-B); the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), and the 74-item Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to assess the capacity of the PQ-B to identify individuals at risk of psychosis as independently defined based on the combination of GHQ-12 and SPQ thresholds.


The Italian version of the PQ-B revealed good internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and adequate convergent and divergent validity. The Youden method retrieved a cut-off = 7 for the PQ-B frequency score and a cut-off = 22 for the PQ-B distress score. Both PQ-B scores had a perfect (99%) negative predictive value.


The PQ-B is a promising screening tool in two-stage protocols. The major advantage of the PQ-B is to exclude cases that are unlikely to be at risk of psychosis.

Keywords: PQ, Screening, Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Ultra high risk, Questionnaire, Distress score.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 14
First Page: 120
Last Page: 131
Publisher Id: CPEMH-14-120
DOI: 10.2174/1745017901814010154

Article History:

Received Date: 16/02/2018
Revision Received Date: 18/04/2018
Acceptance Date: 23/04/2018
Electronic publication date: 23/05/2018
Collection year: 2018

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© 2018 Preti et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Center of Liaison Psychiatry and Psychosomatics, University Hospital, University of Cagliari, via Costantinopoli 54, 09123 Cagliari, Italy; Tel: 0039 070 6093498; E-mail:


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