Attenuated Psychosis Syndromes Among Nigerian Youth and Young Adults: Early Identification and Intervention

  • Adeniran Okewole
  • Sewanu Awhangansi
  • Akinloye Akinfala


In both clinical practice and research, focus has gradually shifted in the past decade from clinical psychosis to recognition of attenuated psychosis syndromes and the development of interventions which can prevent or mitigate transition from prodromal states to the clinical end of the spectrum. The attenuated psychosis syndromes (APS) is an entity in DSM-5 characterized by the presence of delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech in an attenuated form not better explained by another DSM-5 diagnosis. There is a dearth of literature on the APS in African populations, with a search of existing literature revealing no definitive prevalence study. However, in a Nigerian sample, as much as one in five adolescent students screened positive for APS. Nevertheless, a shortage of specialized services, pervasive stigma, and a preference for alternative pathways to care have militated against adequate care of adolescents with APS. Very few assessment tools have been validated for use in African populations, and intervention strategies are hampered by a shortage of trained personnel. An illustrative case is presented of an adolescent whose initial presentation was in keeping with APS but thereafter progressed to clinical psychosis. The case highlights aspects of presentation in a specialized service in Nigeria, as well as some of the problems and prospects in management of such cases.


Nigeria Adolescents Attenuated psychosis Young adults Developing countries 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adeniran Okewole
    • 1
  • Sewanu Awhangansi
    • 1
  • Akinloye Akinfala
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuropsychiatric HospitalAro AbeokutaNigeria

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