European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 1555–1566 | Cite as

Shared psychotic disorder in children and young people: a systematic review

  • Laura VigoEmail author
  • Daniel Ilzarbe
  • Inmaculada Baeza
  • Partha Banerjea
  • Marinos Kyriakopoulos


This study aimed at searching the literature and reassessing the concept of shared psychotic disorder (SPD) in young people under 18 taking into account genetic vulnerability, social circumstances and family situation to have a better understanding of this condition. Published case reports from 1980 through to March 2017, which included children and adolescents meeting DSM-III/IV/IV-TR or ICD 10 criteria of SPD, were identified. Sociodemographic and clinical variables were collected and analysed; a post hoc analysis comparing inductors and induced was also conducted. Four hundred and eight articles were assessed for eligibility of which 27 were included in the qualitative and quantitative synthesis. Thirty families were described. Forty-eight children were identified including 6 inductors and 42 induced. Although delusional beliefs were presented in all subjects, hallucinations were only reported in 50% of the inductors and 27% of the inductees. Social isolation was the most common social context (83.3% of the inductors; 76.2% of the induced) and 18 out of 45 children (data missing for n = 3) were initially separated from adults involved although the outcome of the symptoms was not different from those who were not separated. Children who were inductors were more likely to meet criteria of major psychotic illness in the future. Most of the induced children involved in a case of shared psychosis were first-degree relatives of the inductor. Shared psychotic disorder probably occurs in premorbid predisposed individuals where genetic and environmental factors play an important role in the development of the psychotic episode.


Shared psychotic disorder Shared paranoid disorder Folie a Deux Early onset psychosis Children and adolescents 



Authors thank Roger Borrás, statistician at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, for helpful discussion. I.B. and D.L. acknowledge financial support from Fundación Alicia Koplowitz, Spanish Ministry of Health, and Instituto de Salud Carlos III.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

IB. and D.L. have received honoraria and travel support from Otsuka-Lundbeck and Janssen. The rest of authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Vigo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel Ilzarbe
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Inmaculada Baeza
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Partha Banerjea
    • 7
  • Marinos Kyriakopoulos
    • 2
    • 8
    • 9
  1. 1.Children and Adolescent Psychiatry Mental Health ServicesSouth London and Maudsley NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and NeuroscienceKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology, Institute Clinic of NeurosciencesHospital Clínic Universitari of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.CERCA-IDIBAPS (Institut d’ Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi Sunyer)BarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, CIBERSAMMadridSpain
  7. 7.Southwark Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK
  8. 8.National and Specialist Acorn Lodge Inpatient Children’s Unit, Bethlem Royal Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK
  9. 9.Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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